Monday, August 29, 2022

Holy Land Pilgrimage Part 3 - River Jordan, Jericho & Dead Sea Swimming

Day 4: Monday, July 11
Today our coach will take us to Zippori National Park to see Sepphoris, which was once an important center of Jewish life in Galilee, and is also the birthplace of our Lady. According to one holy tradition, she and St. Joseph met here while he was working to help build the village. From there we’ll drive to Tel Megiddo National Park to see Armageddon, the ancient place of battle, and the prophesied place of the assembly of kings in the end times (Apocalypse 16). In the afternoon, we will journey to southern end of Mount Carmel to see the Carmelite Monastery at Muhraqa (the place of burning), where the holy Prophet Elias defeated the 450 priests of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves, and the fire of God came down from heaven (3 Kings 18). Dinner and last night in Nazareth.

Prepped for another day of Pilgrimaging!
(Sportin the new Chaco's  - early birthday gift from Dad and Mom along with a couple pairs of convertible pants and a hat for the pilgrimage) 

The Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes

The rock underneath the altar is the proposed spot where the miracle happened.

"Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish."


We then stopped at the Primacy of Saint Peter where Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love Me?"

"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep."

I love the Sea of Galilee.

We went to Zippori which was the birthplace of Mother Mary.



All these mosaics were amazing to see!! Such incredible talent.


The one above is known as "The Mona Lisa of Galilee

(The structure above ground is not the original building... 
However, it is what the original villa would've looked like.) 

This was a watch tower that was built by the Crusaders.

This was on top of a part of Mount Carmel where the prophet Elias confronted pagan priests. 
In all honesty didn't know much about that story till going there. Pretty cool story to read sometime. Start at 1 Kings v. 18. 

Those are the fields of Armageddon below. 

I was able to serve Mass again. This sounds a bit cliché but it's always a blessing being able to serve Mass especially in these Holy places. 

Welp this was our last day in Nazareth.  Been a blast staying here and visiting Galilee and all the other sites but I'm looking forward to our next stop, Jerusalem!

Day 5: Tuesday, July 12
Travel day to Jerusalem, our home for the next six nights. Departing Nazareth in the morning, we’ll drive south to the wilderness of Judea and visit Qumran National Park to learn about St. John the Baptist and the Essenes (Matt. 3). Then we’ll visit the River Jordan and the place where our Lord was baptized, to renew our baptismal promises to Him and be sprinkled with water from the Jordan as we sing “Asperges”. After visiting Jericho and having a traditional Bedouin lunch, we’ll go down to the Dead Sea for a floating swim at Kalya. Then we’ll drive up the mountains to our hotel in Jerusalem, on the outskirts of the Old City. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

My stay in Nazareth is over but my stay in Jerusalem is about to begin!

The River Jordan - Where John baptized our Lord.
Definitely a lot smaller than I had imagined!

Me with my Godfather near the baptizing waters.

I was also able to renew my baptismal vows there!!!
Such an incredible moment ♥ ♥


The church pictured above is in the city of Jericho. 

"The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world is Jericho. This territory belongs to the ancient city of Palestine, was built on the Jordan River and 9,000 years before Christ. In addition to being the oldest, Jericho is the lowest city in the world as it is situated at an altitude of 258 m below sea level."

The mountain (on the far left is) where Jesus was tempted by the devil. 

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, "If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

We next visited where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and discovered!  


The cave in between me and Father is the cave where the first scrolls were found by the shepherds.

Swam in the Dead Sea!

Absolutely would NOT do again but it was cool to check that box 😝

It was EXTREMELY salty!! It's similar if you get sea water in your mouth . . .  just multiply it by nine! Like I said, it was neat to try it out and being effortlessly buoyant, but with trying not to get any more of that nasty water in your mouth while swimming back to shore, then feeling slimy and gross after getting out, and even after a long shower and multiple gargles still tasting salty and feeling salty I am more than happy just doing it the one time. 

Our Hotel in Jerusalem - Notre Dame of Jerusalem

Such a COOL hotel!!


And such a cool view from the roof of the old and new city of Jerusalem!


Excited to start exploring Jerusalem, Israel!


  1. I am really enjoying the photos— so beautiful! And a big thank you to James for remembering my son in his prayers!

    1. Thank you! He prayed for your intention and all the others he took with him at all the holy sites and while serving Mass each day. God bless you and your family!

  2. He Lisa! sorry it's taken till now for me to respond but I'm genuinely happy that you enjoyed following along my lil journey through the Holy Land. And like my Mom said, I remembered to pray for your son (and everyone else's prayer intentions) at all the major sites. I'm sure God will respond in the way He sees fit for the salvation of all. :) Thank you and take care!


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