Dear Good People of Saint Mary,
This weekend our Saint Mary pilgrimage group is leaving for the Holy Land. I’ve been typing up the booklet of Scripture that we will read at each place where we go — from the Mediterranean coast and Mount Carmel to Mount Tabor and the Sea of Galilee, from Cana and Nazareth’s Basilica of Annunciation, to Jericho, to Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity. The first photo to the right above is all of us last year in the cave beneath the Church of the Nativity where Jesus Christ was born.
We get to spend a few days in Jerusalem, there is a lot to see. We will spend one day in museums, and go to the town where John the Baptist was born and where Mary traveled to the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, and the Basilica of the Visitation. The next day we go to the Mount of Olives alongside the Temple Mount of Jerusalem, where we will visit the garden of Gethsemane and the rock on which Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified. Nearby Mount Zion includes the upper room of the Last Supper, as well as the Basilica of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, and the church built on the site of Caiaphas’ house where Jesus was imprisoned after his arrest, while he was awaiting overnight for his passion. The next day we go from the Pool of Bethesday (within the old city of Jerusalem to the Praetorium where Jesus was condemned to die, beginning the Way of the Cross. This is the second photo to the right. Finally, our via dolorosa ends with Mass alongside the tomb of Jesus, beneath the great dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, celebrating resurrection.
From there we head into the Judean Desert – where we will visit Qumran, Masada and the Dead Sea. The desert continues as we cross the Jordan River into Jordan where we will travel through the desert to the land of the Moabites and the Naboteans, to Petra, the great deserts of the south near the Gulf of Aquaba and Sinai, the lands where Moses and Aaron led the people of Israel from Egypt to Madaba and Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the promised land but could not enter before his death.
Needless to say, we remember you in our prayers everywhere we go, and wish that all could join us on this adventure. I’ll send more from the road next week.
God bless you.