Led by Fr Russell Pollitt SJ with Günther Simmermacher 5 - 17 May 2019 Join The Southern Cross on this beautiful pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome Fr Russell...
Fr S’milo Mngadi • 8 – 19 September 2017
Join Fr S’milo Mngadi on this unforgettable Pilgrimage of Graces to the Holy Land and Cairo.
Friday, September 8
We meet at Johannesburg International Airport to depart on our night-flight four our Holy Land pilgrimage.
Saturday, September 9
We land in Tel Aviv and proceed to Nazareth, hometown of Our Lord. There we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation with the grotto where the Archangel greeted Mary with the words “Hail Mary, full of grace”. Also visit St Joseph’s Church, where Joseph and Jesus worked. We see Mary’s Well, where Our Lady drew water, and other sites associated with the Holy Family. We then visit Cana, site of Our Lord’s first miracle, where couples can renew their wedding vows.
Sunday, September 10
After breakfast in our hotel, we go to the Sea of Galilee, around which most of Jesus’ public ministry took place. At Capernaum we can see the actual remains of Peter’s house and of a fourth-century synagogue built on top of the one in which Jesus probably preached (the foundations of which we can still see). At Tabgha a church recalls the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and the nearby Chapel of Peter’s Primacy marks the place where Christ entrusted the Church to St Peter. We drive up Mount of Beatitudes, on the slopes of which Jesus delivered his famous sermon. A highlight of the pilgrimage is the boat-ride on the Sea of Galilee on a recreation of a first-century fishing vessel, a time for both fun and for prayerful reflection. We invite you for lunch today, with an opportunity to eat the St Peter’s fish from the Sea of Galilee.
Monday, September 11
We visit Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration, from where we can survey the Jezreel Valley. We then leave Galilee and we cross Samaria, the land of the Samaritans. At Jacob’s Well, where Our Lord had that memorable encounter with the Samarian woman. At Sebaste, where the head of St John the Baptist was kept, we see the remains of the Roman city and of Jezebel and Ahab’s palace. We visit Taybeh, the last 100% Christian village, where an old house shows us how people lived in ancient times.
Tuesday, September 12
Bethlehem, where He was born. In Bethlehem we visit the ancient Basilica of the Nativity, where a silver star marks the place of Jesus’ birth. Shepherds’ Field, where the angels announced the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds, is one of the Holy Land’s loveliest sites. In Bethlehem we have the opportunity to do some souvenir shopping.
Wednesday, September 13
After breakfast we visit Bethany, the town where Jesus often stayed with his friends Mary and Martha, and where he raised Lazarus from the dead in the tomb which still exists today. We then drive to visit the Qasr El-Yahud baptismal site on the River Jordan, which the Vatican recognises as the authentic site of the baptism. There we renew our baptismal vows. We pass through Jericho, with a view on the Mount of Temptation on which Jesus spent the 40 days and 40m nights in the desert. On the Dead Sea, where we can float on the mineral-rich water. Today we invite you to lunch at the lowest point on earth.
Thursday, September 14
JERUSALEM! We begin our pilgrimage to the Holy City on top of the Mount of Olives at the small chapel, now a mosque, which marks the spot from which Catholics believe Christ ascended into Heaven (see His reputed footprint in a stone there). As we walk down the mount we visit Paternoster Church, where the Lord’s Prayer is displayed in hundreds of languages, including several South African versions, and Dominus Flevit Church, which is on the spot where Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept for its impending destruction. At the foot of the mount we arrive at the Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees, and the magnificent Church of All Nations with the Rock of Agony (pictured on top of the page), on which Jesus is believed to have prayed before His arrest. Across the street we visit Mary’s Tomb, from which Our Lady was assumed into heaven.
Friday, September 15
On Mount Zion we visit the impressive Dormition Abbey, where Our Lady fell asleep, the Cenacle (Upper Room) which commemorates the Last Supper, and the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, where Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, kept in a dungeon, and where Peter denounced Our Lord three times. Next to the church we can see the steps on which we know Jesus actually walked! At Ein Kerem, today a part of West Jerusalem, we remember in two beautiful churches the birth of John the Baptist and Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth during which Our Lady recited the Magnificat.
Saturday, September 16
This is the day we follow the Stations of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. The Way of the Cross culminates in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, our faith’s most sacred site. Here you can touch the rock where the cross stood and pray where Our Lord defeated death by rising from the dead. We also visit the lovely St Anne’s Church, a Crusader church on the site of the home of Saints Anne & Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin, and the Pools of Bethesda, where Our Lord cured the lame man. We see the Western (or Wailing) Wall, the remnant of the Jewish Temple which was razed by the Romans in 70 AD. In the afternoon we have some free time to explore the Old City’s market or maybe return to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for prayer and further exploration.
Sunday, September 17
In the morning we make our way to the airport to continue our journey in Cairo. On arrival in Cairo we enjoy lunch before visiting a papyrus workshop. At sunset we have a dinner Nile Cruise. After this we go to our luxury hotel to prepare for some amazing sights the next day.
Monday, September 18
In the morning we visit the great Pyramids of Giza with an opportunity to climb on a structure that was already ancient when Moses was born. Of course, we also see the Sphinx. We then go to old Cairo to visit the historical Hanging Church, Egypt’s important church, and the Abu Serga, the grotto where the Holy Family was hiding during the Flight into Egypt. We then make our way to the airport to catch our flight home.
Tuesday, September 19
After an unforgettable journey we land in the morning in Johannesburg, physically tired but spiritually refreshed, remembering the words of the Psalmist: “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abides forever” (125:1).
Est. Price: R31,497 (incl. airport taxes ex-JHB; subject to currency and price fluctuations, minimum 25 travelling. Calculated at R13,37 to the dollar)
Includes: All flights ex-Johannesburg (incl. airport taxes), accommodation in 3-star hotels or better (sharing) with breakfast and dinner, two lunches, transfers, travelling on air-conditioned luxury buses, English-speaking tour guide, entrance fees, preparation material.
Excludes: Tips (these are set and mandatory), insurance, personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.
VISAS: No visas for Israel required by SA citizen. Free visas for Egypt from the embassy in Pretoria (Fowler Tours will gladly assist you)