Flower of Carmel, Blossoming Vine,
Splendor of Heaven, Mother divine, None like to thee.
Mother of Our King, Peerless and Fair,
to thy children of Carmel, Favors grant ever, Star of the sea!
Here is part six of the series of posts James is sharing about his pilgrimage to the Holy Land this summer! You can find the rest here:
Holy Land Pilgrimage Part 1 (Days 0-2)
Holy Land Pilgrimage Part 5 - Jerusalem (Days 7-8)
Day 9: Saturday, July 16 and the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
On our Lady’s holy feast day, we will drive north to Haifa to visit Mount Carmel and the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, the center of Carmelite spirituality throughout the world. Underneath this church lies the cave where lived the holy Prophet Elias. After lunch at the Monastery, we will drive down the coast to Caesarea Maritima, which was an important center for Christianity connected with the Apostles and Church Fathers: Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Zacchaeus, Philip the Deacon, Cornelius the Centurion, Origen, Eusebius, and even the origins of the Nicene Creed. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
After Mass this morning we went to Stella Maris on Mount Carmel!
It also happened to be the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel!!
Stella Maris • Star of the Sea
Such a beautiful day!
On our way back we stopped at Caesarea Maritima
(Formerly Strato's Tower, also known as Caesarea Palestinae, was an ancient city in the Sharon plain on the coast of the Mediterranean, now in ruins and included in an Israeli National Park.) This has no significance to Christ and his journey but this is the city where most of the roman soldiers who worked in Israel would retire to because of the beauty of it. Honestly if this place was up and running I wouldn't mind retiring there myself. Like I said, there really isn't any connection with Christ to this spot but this would have been a hub for early Christians. Was built around 22 B.C.
Picture on the left is a VERY early sculpture of Jesus the Good Shepard carrying a lamb on his shoulders. Picture on the right is the remaining foot of a huge sculpture of a man. My friend standing next to it gives some comparison.
When the Crusaders came to this area they built a fortress just outside the main city. In the picture above you can see some of the old wall and part of the moat that they built.
Absolutely love the Mediterranean Sea!!! (I just love water in general if you couldn't tell.)
We didn't see a whole ton on this day, and the things we did see weren't super monumental, but it gave us time to relax a little bit. Looking forward to another day!
Day 10: Sunday, July 17
Our last day in Jerusalem. After Holy Mass, we will visit the Israel Museum and see the amazing 22,000 square foot model of the Old City of Jerusalem as it was at the time of our Lord, as well as the Shrine of the Book that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will also visit the Elah Valley where David slew Goliath (1 Kings 17), learn how he did it, and how to sling a stone in the same manner. We’ll then have a free afternoon to rest, re-visit holy sites in Jerusalem, and explore the Old City before we depart for Jordan the next day. Dinner and last night in Jerusalem.
If ya can't tell it from this pic, I was very tired!
Started the day with Mass. Great way to start the day in my opinion ;)
The stream where David selected 5 stones to use in his fight with Goliath! Couldn't help but think of the Veggie Tales episode "Dave and the Giant Pickle". 😂
"Then David took his shepherd's staff. selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's pack, and with his sling in hand approached Goliath."
The field where David killed Goliath.
(Like I said, I was thinking of Veggie Tales the entire time...)
David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lorddoes not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.”
Before leaving I was given this plant to try and it actually tasted pretty good.
It tasted like licorice.
We then went to the Israel Museum which had this model of the City of Jerusalem.
It's kind of hard to tell from this picture but there is a wall in the middle splitting the old and new Jerusalem built Herod the great. The scale of the city is 1:50
In the picture above you can see where Jesus was tried by Pilate (the Fortress looking thing). Jesus would have come down those steps and out that gate that can be seen and would have been crucified on that tallish rock to the left of the gate.
This is the Second Temple
We then returned to the hotel for a free evening.
A friend and I went to see The Wailing Wall. Not sure how many sketch alleyways and side streets we walked to get here... Definitely a struggle.
Our last dinner in Jerusalem was
We actually went back to Bethlehem where we had dinner and a show.
...definitely became more culturally enriched.
Had lamb for dinner with a rice that had nuts and raisins in it 👌
And then said goodbye to our guide because he is unable to travel into Jordan.
Such a great guide. Hopefully I'll see him again at some point in my life.