Bishop Duncan Tsoke • 6 - 16 September 2020 Visit the Holy Land on a prayerful pilgrimage with Radio Veritas and Bishop Duncan Tsoke of the archdiocese of Johannesburg....
Visit the places of Our Lord’s Passion, then see the famous
Passion Play in Oberammergau.
Performed only ever 10 YEARS!
Friday, August 21, 2020
We meet at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, where we take our night-flight to Tel Aviv.
Saturday, August 22
At Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv we meet our guide, and we proceed to Jaffa, where over centuries the pilgrims coming by ship from the West landed. This is the place from where Jonas made his encounter with the whale, and where St Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner when he had his dream to accept the Gentiles to the new faith of Jesus Christ.
Sunday, August 23
In Nazareth we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation with the grotto where the Archangel greeted Mary with the words “Hail Mary, full of grace”, and the nearby Church of St Joseph. 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. We visit Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration, from where we can survey the Jezreel Valley.
Monday, August 24
Today we go to the Sea of Galilee, around which most of Jesus’ public ministry took place. At Capernaum we can see the remains of Peter’s house, for which we archeological proof, 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). A 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. At Migdal (or Magdala) we can see the remains of a 1st-century synagogue in which Jesus very likely preached. We also have lunch at Migdal, with an opportunity to eat the St Peter’s fish from the Sea of Galilee. 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.
Tuesday, August 25
Today we travel south to Bethlehem where we visit the ancient Basilica of the Nativity, which marks the place of Jesus’ birth, and the Milk Grotto, where tradition holds the Blessed Virgin breastfed the baby Jesus before the flight into Egypt. Shepherds’ Field, where the angels announced the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds, is one of the Holy Land’s loveliest sites. On a visit to an olive wood workshop we can see how the famous carvings of Bethlehem are made.
Wednesday, August 26
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. 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, the place where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. On the Dead Sea, where we can float on the mineral-rich water at the lowest point on earth.
Thursday, August 27
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 wept for Jerusalem. 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 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.
We then go to Mount Zion to visit the impressive Dormition Abbey, where Our Lady fell asleep, the Cenacle (Upper Room) which commemorates the Last Supper and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, 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. See the steps on which we know Jesus actually walked!
Friday, August 28
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 in the tomb from which Our Lord rose 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. Time permitting, we may go to the Western (or Wailing) Wall. We close our pilgrimage at Ein Kerem where the Church of the Visitation commemorates the Blessed Virgin’s encounter with St Elizabeth and her reciting of the Magnificat, and the Church of St John’s Nativity, with its beautiful Spanish tiles, which marks the birthplace of St John the Baptist.
Saturday, August 29
Today we leave the Holy Land and make our way to Germany. We arrive in Munich, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and time permitting will have some time to spend time at leisure in the capital of Bavaria. In the evening we go to a specially selected restaurant for a typical Munich dinner.
Sunday, August 30
In the morning we proceed to Oberammergau and check into our hotel. We then have time to explore this lovely town where many of the buildings have murals on their facades, many of them religious, which are typical of the region. Oberammergau is famous for its wood carvings. Today we have lunch in a local restaurant before we go to the semi-open theatre for the famous and spectacular Passion Play, which is performed every ten years by a cast made up only of locals. Here we have an advantage over the other members of the audience: We will have just returned from the places where the events on stage actually took place!
Monday, August 31
After breakfast we visit the very beautiful Wieskirche, a rococo church from the 1750s, in the countryside which is a popular site of pilgrimage due to the miraculous statue of the Scourged Saviour. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We then proceed to the beautiful Ettal Abbey, one of the biggest Benedictine abbeys in the world, which runs a school, brews its own beer and distills its own liqueurs, a cheese factory, an art factory and others to sustain itself. In the afternoon we return to Munich where we have a chance to do some shopping before we have dinner in a traditional Bavarian beer house.
Tuesday, September 1
On the final day of our pilgrimage we have a guided tour of Munich, where there are many churches in a radius of 2km. We visit the city’s cathedral, the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) with its distinctive rounded towers, which once was the seat of Pope Benedict XVI, when he was the archbishop here. Among other gorgeous churches, we honour our Franciscan Archbishop Slattery by visiting the Franciscan church of St Anne. We have opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of St Mary’s Square with Munich’s city hall. On the Odeonsplatz, where the Nazis attempted a coup in 1923, we see the elegant 17th-century Theatine Church. We also get a chance to do some last-minute shopping in the pedestrian zone. We then leave for the airport to make our way home.
Wednesday, September 2
After an unforgettable journey we land 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).
MASS WILL BE CELEBRATED EVERY DAY.
INCLUDES DAILY LUNCH IN SELECTED RESTAURANT IN THE HOLY LAND & OBERAMMERGAU!
Est. Price: R 53,300 (sharing, ex-Jhb; subject to currency, airport tax fluctuations. Calculated on 42+ passengers, at R14,40 to the dollar/R16,20 to the euro)
Includes: All flights ex-Johannesburg (incl. airport taxes), accommodation in 4-star hotels or better (sharing) with breakfast and dinner, daily lunches (in Holy Land and Oberammergau), transfers, travel insurance, travelling on air-conditioned luxury buses, English-speaking tour guides, entrance fees, preparation material.
Excludes: Tips (these are set and mandatory), hotel taxes, visas, personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.
A deposit of R5,600 secures your place on this unforgettable pilgrimage. For account details and booking form, please download the illustrated itinerary.
All text & photos © Fowler Tours 2019