Follow the OLA Pilgrimage Group in the Holy Land and Rome. We are leaving today. John us in spirit, day by day, and keep us in your prayers. You are in ours. (Hint: Google the various place names to get a lot of interesting information about them.)
Our Lady of the Assumption Pilgrimage – Holy Land and Italy
May 20 to June 3
Deacons’ Call – Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy
(Vatican … May 27-29)
Itinerary – Annotated by Fr. Tom Welbers
May 20, Friday:
Depart from USA. Arrival next day.
Depart AZ 0621 LAX Bradley – 4:15 pm Bradley (duration 11:55 – 6354 miles)
May 21, Saturday:
Arrive 1:10 pm FCO Terminal 3
Depart AZ 0812 FCO Terminal 1 – 2:45 pm (duration 3:20 – 1417 miles)
Arrive 7:05 pm TLV International
Go to Leonardo Plaza Hotel, Tiberias (2 nights)
Route: 149 km, 1:36
Orientation, dinner with wine, overnight
May 22, Sunday:
Next we visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the Chapel of the Primacy at Tabgha.
Proceed to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, which commemorates the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12). (Route from Capernaum to Mount of Beatitudes)
After lunch visit Cana in Galilee where Jesus turned water into wine during a wedding feast.
We end our tour for the day at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
Dinner with wine and second night at Tiberias in Galilee.
May 23, Monday:
After breakfast we drive down through the Jordan Valley to the place of baptism for a visit and for renewal of baptismal vows if desired.
Our next stop will be to the oldest city in the world, Jericho, and a view of the Mount of Temptation on which our Lord was tempted 40 days and 40 nights. We shall also view Zacchaeus’ tree. (Route from Tiberias to Baptism Site and Jericho.)
We will then proceed to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We continue our drive on up through the Judean Wilderness to Jerusalem, and take a first glimpse of the city from the heights of Mt. Scopus before checking into our hotel, the Grand Court Hotel (3 nights). (Route from Jericho through Qumran to Jerusalem.)
Dinner with wine, and overnight in Jerusalem.
May 24, Tuesday:
After breakfast we shall start our pilgrimage in Jerusalem with a drive to Mount of Olives, from which Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection. (Map.)
So, our first visit is the church of the Ascension next the church of Pater Noster commemorating Jesus teaching his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Walk down the ‘Palm Sunday road,’ and visit the chapel of Dominus Flevit, here Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. Then proceed to the garden of Gethsemane, and see the church of Mary Magdalene, and visit the Church of all Nations. (Walking map of these sites.)
Drive to Mount Zion and visit the upper room where Jesus had his last supper. Next visit the Dormition Abbey where the Virgin Mary assumed into heaven body and soul. Then we visit the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, which is built over the site of the house of the high priest Caiaphas and the dungeon where our Lord was imprisoned before his trial. It is also here that Peter denied knowing Jesus thrice. (Map, it gets a little crazy between Dormition Abbey and St. Peter in Gallicantu.)
After lunch we will visit Bethlehem (map, Jerusalem to Bethlehem) starting at the Basilica of the Nativity and the Grotto, venerated as the birthplace of Jesus (Luke 2:1-7). We will also visit the church of St Catherine, the Crusaders’ Cloister, the Chapel of St Jerome and the Grotto of the Holy Innocents. Finally, we will visit the shepherd’s fields before returning to our hotel, for dinner with wine and second night in Jerusalem. (Map of Bethlehem with the Basilica of the Nativity. Couldn’t locate the other sites.)
May 25, Wednesday:
After breakfast we will drive to St. Steven’s Gate where we shall enter the old city and start our morning tour at the Crusader’s church of St. Anne and the pool of the Bethesda. (Map)
Continue to the tower of Antonia where Jesus was tried and the church of the flagellation from where we follow the Stations of the Cross ending inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Map of route, walking.
After lunch we shall visit the last standing remnant of the ancient Temple at the Western (Wailing) Wall. (Walking map of route.)
Next and drive to Ein Karem, home of St. Elizabeth, and mother of John the Baptist to visit of the visitation and the church of St. John the Baptist. (Map)
Return to hotel for third night, and dinner
May 26, Thursday:
May 27, Friday:
Start around 9:00 am. Visit the Colosseum, the symbol of the city of Rome; a great building that has been standing since 80 A.D. Tour of the Catacombs where 500,000 people were buried.
4:00 pm: Reflection on theme The Deacon: Image of Mercy for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. English groups at Basilica di S. Maria sopra Minerva (Piazza della Minerva, 42) or Basilica di S. Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini (Piazza dell’Oro 1)
[Previous program note: At 5:00 pm celebrate the Diaconate Jubilee in the 7 churches of Saint Lawrence (also here). (Map)] (Here is the Jubilee Program for the three days.) Dinner and second night in Rome.
May 28, Saturday:
8:00 am – 2:00 pm – all participants will be able to make a pilgrimage through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s according to the diverse language groups as noted on the program which be included in the event booklet. During this time, participants may also wish to visit one of the three Jubilee Churches where the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available and where there will be Eucharistic Adoration. There will also be a number of Missionaries of Mercy available to hear Confessions. These churches are:
Also during this period, all participants are invited to make individual pilgrimages to the churches in Rome dedicated to Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo), which are noted in the event booklet.
4:00 pm – Deacons and those accompanying them are to gather for a catechesis in the same church in which they had been present on the previous day, as noted on the PASS.
[Previous: From 8:00 am to 5:00 pm In the Jubilee churches: Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Pilgrimage to the Holy Door. At 6:00 pm, pilgrims will walk through the Holy Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica to hear official Catechesis on the subject The Deacon: Called to the Service of Charity in the Life of the community.] Dinner and third night in Rome.
May 29, Sunday:
7:30 am, arrive at St. Peter’s Square for 10:30 am Holy Mass with Pope Francis, Deacons will be seated to the front. (Map: Hotel to St. Peter’s to Spanish Steps, bus) Then visit the Spanish Steps. This is the place where the Romans hung out. From there we will walk to Trevi Fountain, and have time for shopping. Followed by a walk to the Pantheon, the oldest functional building in the world, and then to the great artistic place of Piazza Navona around 4:30 pm. (Walking map.) Dinner at Piazza Navona. Red and white wine included. Casual Dress throughout the day. Return to hotel for fourth night in Rome.
May 30, Monday:
Start the day around 9:30 am, by visiting St. Peter’s in the Vatican, the largest Basilica in the world. (Wonderfully detailed illustrated guide here. Virtual tour here. National Geographic 360-degree virtual tour. All these online sites are worth a visit.) There will be time for private devotion and shopping before lunch. In the afternoon we will see the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel (the Pope’s private Chapel). Long pants, capris, or skirts below the knee, shoulders covered. (Walking map from St. Peter’s to Vatican Museum entrance.) Time to rest before dinner in the area of the hotel. Red and white wine included. Return to hotel for fifth night in Rome..
May 31, Tuesday:
En route to Florence stop in Assisi. See the tombs of St. Francis and St. Clare; enjoy a peaceful walk on the streets of Assisi. Dinner in Tuscany. (Map from Rome through Assisi to Florence.) First of 2 nights at Nilhotel in Florence.
June 1, Wednesday:
Tour of Florence: the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizzi, Michelangelo’s masterpiece, The David, Flea Market, Duomo (Cathedral), and the Baptistery. Tour Guide will show to those interested the location of the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapel (where the Medici family was buried), and Basilica della Santa Croce (where Michelangelo and 15 other glorious Italian artists and thinkers were buried). (Map) Dinner in Florence. Red and white wine included. Casual dress throughout the day. Second of 2 nights in Florence.
June 2, Thursday:
Leave for Venice in the morning on our private bus. Estimated time of arrival is 12:00 noon. (Map) Visit St. Mark’s plaza. Optional: Gondola ride and shopping. Long pants if you intend to go inside St. Mark’s. Casual dress if you intend to go on a Gondola ride or spend time shopping and visiting the beautiful streets and bridges of Venice. Dinner, and one night at the Crystal Hotel in Venice (map).
June 3, Friday:
Our private bus brings us to the airport in Venice to fly back to USA. (Map)
Depart Venice on AZ 1468 at 7:40 am, arrive Rome at 8:45 am (FCO Terminal 1 – duration 1:05)
Depart Rome (FCO Terminal 3) on AZ 0620 at 10:10 am, arrive Los Angeles at 2:15 pm (LAX Bradley – duration 13:05)