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AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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MORE PHOTOS IN DUBAI COURTESY OF MS. MAY ANN RODIS

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Back to: Oct 21, 2013 – DUBAI, UAE

AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 14, 2013 (Monday): TIBERIAS – CANA – SEA OF GALILEE (Boat ride) – TABGHA – TIBERIAS

After breakfast, we left for Cana and had our 9AM Mass there presided by Fr. Estong Bendita. On our way, Morning Prayer was said and Bible passages were distributed and I got this one: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy remains in you, and that your joy may be full,” (John 15:11).

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Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias
Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias

Cana of Galilee was the site where Jesus performed His first miracle at the request of His mother Mary at a wedding feast of a poor couple, by changing water into wine: “Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him,” (John 2:1-11); and the healing of the royal official’s son who was near death (John 4:46-54).

The Wedding Church at Cana in Galilee
The Wedding Church at Cana in Galilee
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 219 sacristy of cana wedding church

Inside the Wedding Church, Cana in Galilee
Inside the Wedding Church, Cana in Galilee
 220 altar-wedding church cana  221 altar wedding church cana

The Mass started at 8:45AM in the Church of First Miracle (Wedding Church) and ended at 9:35am. The Wedding Church is built by the Franciscans in the nineteenth century over remains believed to date to Jesus’ day. The renewal of marriage vows of 6 couples was made during the Mass. After the Mass, signing of the Marriage Certificate and was signed by Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, DD; picture taking followed. We roamed around under the wedding church where remains were found.

223 couples renewed cana
Couples before their Renewal of marriage vows
 224 couples renewed cana
 

225 bishop concelebrated at wedding church mass cana
Bishop Gutierrez concelebrating at our Mass in Wedding Church at Cana in Galilee
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Mr. and Mrs. Nathanael and Marivet Caballero
Mr. and Mrs. Nathanael and Marivet Caballero
 

Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon and Natividad Cachuela
Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon and Natividad Cachuela
 

Mr. and Mrs. Dante and Luzviminda Caluag
Mr. and Mrs. Dante and Luzviminda Caluag
 

Mr. and mrs. Danilo and Lucy Decio
Mr. and mrs. Danilo and Lucy Decio
 

Mr. and Mrs. Justiniano and Minda Grino
Mr. and Mrs. Justiniano and Minda Grino
 

Dr. and Mrs. Leonardo and Jocelyn Lu
Dr. and Mrs. Leonardo and Jocelyn Lu
 233 couples renewing by fr estong  234 couples renewing02
 

Picture, picture after the Mass
Picture, picture after the Mass
 236 Renewed couples after the Mass at cana Church
 237 After the Mass at Cana  239 After the Mass at Cana
 

Mr. and Mrs. Nathanael Caballero after signing their Marriage Contract
Mr. and Mrs. Nathanael Caballero after signing their Marriage Contract
 

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Mr. and Mrs. Nathanael Caballero
 

Below the Wedding Church, a ruin of a church built here
Below the Wedding Church, a ruin of a church built here
 

Below the Wedding Church was a wall indicating that a house was built here
Below the Wedding Church was a wall indicating that a house was built here
 

a jar (2,000 years old) maybe a grape crasher
a jar (2,000 years old) maybe a grape crasher
 

Outside the Cana Church after the Mass, before going to a souvenir shop
Outside the Cana Church after the Mass, before going to a souvenir shop
 

Inside the Wedding Church
Inside the Wedding Church
 

Bishop Gutierrez with a Filipina sister outside the Wedding Church at Cana in Galilee
Bishop Gutierrez with a Filipina sister outside the Wedding Church at Cana in Galilee
   

Then we went to a souvenir store and bought some things. I bought rosaries, a ring with an engraved “I love Jesus” and others. We also had a celebration of the renewal of marriage vows of the six couples over a cup of wine and a wedding cake. And then drove to Sea of Galilee. While on our way to the Sea of Galilee our tour guide told us that the sources of living for Israel are the following: 1) tourism, 2) diamonds, 3) farming, and 4) technology.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Justiniano and Minda Grino during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
Mr. and Mrs. Justiniano and Minda Grino during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
 

Mr. and Mrs. Dante and Luzviminda Caluag during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
Mr. and Mrs. Dante and Luzviminda Caluag during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
 

Mr. and Mrs. Danilo and Lucy Decio during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
Mr. and Mrs. Danilo and Lucy Decio during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
 

Dr. and Mrs. Leonardo and Jocelyn Lu during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
Dr. and Mrs. Leonardo and Jocelyn Lu during the short celebration after their Renewal of Marriage Vows in a souvenir shop (courtesy of Rence Galbo)
 

Inside a souvenir shop after the Mass at the Wedding Church; during a short celebration of those who renewed their wedding vows
Inside a souvenir shop after the Mass at the Wedding Church; during a short celebration of those who renewed their wedding vows
 249 At a Gift shop Cana

250 wedding cake slicing
Inside the souvenir shop during the celebration of those who renewed their marriage vows
 

We arrived at the Sea of Galilee at 11:15am, picture taking and then lunch in Miracle Restaurant-Coffee, on seaside of the Sea of Galilee and then drank a bottle of beer. After our lunch, we went to Tabgha.

 

Jordan Valley as viewed from our tour bus
Jordan Valley as viewed from our tour bus
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 253 jordan valley03  

Going to the Sea of Galilee for our lunch
Going to the Sea of Galilee for our lunch

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Sea of Galilee portrait
Sea of Galilee portrait
 

Sea of Galilee viewed from the Restaurant near its seashore
Sea of Galilee viewed from the Restaurant near its seashore

259 side food in a restaurant at galiee seaside
My Side food i ate in a restaurant at Galilee seashore

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261 macabee lager beer
Macabee lager beer
 

the Restaurant where we ate our lunch
the Restaurant where we ate our lunch
 

Dates
Dates

Tabgha, from the Greek name heptapegon which means, “Seven Springs,” is an area situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is not far from Capernaum and is the site of the Church of the Multiplication, famous for its incredible mosaics and the place commemorating the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes: “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted,” (Jn. 6: 11; Mark 6:30-46). The fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus (John 21:1-24) happened too. St. Jerome referred Tabgha as “the solitude” (in Latin: eremos).

We roamed around the Church of the Multiplication (or the Church of Heptapegon) and took pictures. There was a mosaic of the fish and loaves laid next to a large rock, which has caused some New Testament scholars to speculate that the builders of the original church believed that Jesus stood on this rock when He blessed the loaves and the fish just before the feeding of 5,000 men who came to hear Him. The site is maintained by the Benedictine monks.

 

Multiplication of the Loaves Church, Tabgha
Multiplication of the Loaves Church, Tabgha
 

Entrance to the Multiplication of the Loaves Church
Entrance to the Multiplication of the Loaves Church
 

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves (Church of Heptapegon)
Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves (Church of Heptapegon)
 

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves (Church of Heptapegon)
Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves (Church of Heptapegon)
 

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves Church
Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves Church
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The Door of the Multiplication of the Loaves
The Door of the Multiplication of the Loaves
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Outside of the Multiplication of the Loaves Church
Outside of the Multiplication of the Loaves Church
 

Also at Tabgha, a nearby church is the Church of the Primacy of Peter. This is located north of the Church of the Multiplication. It was built on rocks at the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Here Jesus prepared a meal for them on what is known as Mensa Christi, during which Jesus conferred again the primacy of St. Peter. This Church is honoring the memory of Jesus reappearing to his Disciples after his resurrection (third resurrection appearance) and instructing Peter to “feed my sheep”: “He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was distressed that He had said to him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep,” (Jn. 21: 17).

 

at the Entrance of the Church of the Primacy of Peter
at the Entrance of the Church of the Primacy of Peter
 

Primacy of St. Peter as the background
Primacy of St. Peter as the background
 

in this place Jesus asked Peter for Three times and Commissioned Peter to be the Chief Shepherd
in this place Jesus asked Peter for Three times and Commissioned Peter to be the Chief Shepherd
 

Jesus gave back the authority to St. Peter
Jesus gave back the authority to St. Peter
 

See of Galilee at the back
See of Galilee at the back
 

 Jesus gives authority to Peter
Jesus gives authority to Peter
 

Sea of Gelilee
Sea of Gelilee
 

Inside the Primacy Church
Inside the Primacy Church
 

used to be the hot spa located when you exit the Primacy of St. Peter church
used to be the hot spa located when you exit the Primacy of St. Peter church
 

We left the Church of the Primacy of Peter at around 1:33PM for a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 5:1). At the boat, the Philippine flag was raised. The Nene, the wife of an ex-police general Cachuela was the one who raised it and assisted by a boat crew. A gospel passage on calming the sea was read by Fr. Estong and he gave the reflection. It was a windy and sunny afternoon; picture taking in the boat.

The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Tiberias and Lake Kinneret, is where Jesus accomplished numerous miracles: “Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm,” (Matt. 8:26); “And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea,” (Matt. 14:25). He also chose His first disciples on its shores.

The Sea of Galilee is also the largest freshwater lake of Israel. At the other side of the lake is Golan Heights. A key attraction is the site where the water of the Sea of Galilee flows into the Jordan River to which Jesus was baptized by St. John the Baptist. We came to the River to be poured out by the water to renew our Baptism. The assigned priest to do the pouring of water was Fr. Ching Salibay OP

 

going for a boatride at the Sea of Galilee
going for a boatride at the Sea of Galilee
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I rode on this boat at the Sea of Galilee
I rode on this boat at the Sea of Galilee
 

Boatride at the Sea of Galilee
Boatride at the Sea of Galilee
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Inside the Boat
Inside the Boat
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 294 boatride sea of galilee

 295 boatride sea of galilee

 296 boatride sea of galilee

 297 boatride sea of galilee

 

Me and Fr. Estong at the Boat
Me and Fr. Estong at the Boat
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After the Boatride, at the parking area waiting for others to arrive
After the Boatride, at the parking area waiting for others to arrive
   

We went to a diamond factory near Rimonim Mineral Hotel. We entered and somebody explained to us the process and the 4 characteristics of a diamond which are: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. It was like a homily I read that followed these 4 Cs of diamond: Christ, Church, Communion, and Charity. Then one of the owners of the factory, explained further these diamond characteristics and its price in the market for .51 to 5 carats ranges from 1,800 to 148,000 US dollar.

The Diamond Factory near to our Hotel - Tiberias
The Diamond Factory near to our Hotel – Tiberias

Then Saher, our tour bus driver, brought us back to Rimonim Mineral Hotel for a rest at around 5pm. The hotel was walking distance at about 350 meters but the bus driver brought us to the hotel.

Take a short rest and then at around 6:47pm we had our dinner; listened to the meeting of the co-hosts for the next day with Fr. Ching Salibay OP, the shepherd of the group, with Millard Villaverde, our tour guide from the Philippines. We went back to our room, rest and sleep. And that was all for the day.

Other PHOTOS Courtesy of RENCE GALBO:

Back to: AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 15, 2013 (Tuesday): TIBERIAS – MOUNT OF BEATITUDES – CAPERNAUM – JERICHO – JORDAN RIVER – EIN KAREM – JERUSALEM

Viewed from Room 214 of Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias at 6:20AM
Viewed from Room 214 of Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias at 6:10AM

Viewed from Room 214 of Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias at 6:20AM
Viewed from Room 214 of Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias at 6:10AM

Going to Mt. of Beatitudes from Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias
Going to Mt. of Beatitudes from Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias

Going to Mt. of Beatitudes from Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias
Going to Mt. of Beatitudes from Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias

We ate our early breakfast at 6:15AM. At the same time we brought our baggage to the hotel lobby because we had to leave at 7:30AM bound for Mount of Beatitudes for an 8AM Mass presided by Fr. Ching Salibay OP. While on our way to Mount of Beatitudes, Morning Prayer was said; Bible passages were distributed and mine was: “Cast your burdens on the Lord, and He shall sustain you,” (Ps. 55:22).

Church of the Beatitudes is located on the Sea of Galilee near Tabgha and Capernaum. The Church is located on a small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee and built on the traditional site where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Both Popes Paul VI and John Paul II celebrated Mass at the church during their pastoral visits to the Holy Land.

When we were in the Mount of Beatitudes, we saw the panoramic view from the top where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:1-12). This is a breathtaking site overlooking the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. And the Church of Beatitudes displays beautiful windows and mosaics.

During the Eucharistic celebration which started at around 8:18AM, Fr Ching preached to us about the ABC of Happiness and they are: 1) It is Attitude. 2) Blessing to others, 3) Happiness is a Choice. Choose to be happy, “Gusto ko happy ka

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Dome of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes
Dome of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes

Dome of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes
Dome of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes

Before the Mass at the Outside of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes
Before the Mass at the Outside of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes

Before the Mass at the Outside of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes
Before the Mass at the Outside of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes

Fr. Ching OP presided the Eucharistic celebration and the Homilist
Fr. Ching OP presided the Eucharistic celebration and the Homilist

After the Mass at the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
After the Mass at the Church of Mount of Beatitudes

The Altar - Church of the Mount of Beatitudes
The Altar – Church of the Mount of Beatitudes

Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes

Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes with Just Grino
Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes with Just Grino

Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes

Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes with Me
Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD inside the Church of Mount of Beatitudes with Me

Viewed from the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
Viewed from the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
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Me at the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
Me at the Church of Mount of Beatitudes
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Me and gem Wright
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We left the Church of Beatitudes at 9:48AM bound for Capharnaum but Fr. Roming Buenaobra was lost and so some looked for him until he was found. This term was coined: the “Parable of the Lost Shepherd,” just joking.

We arrived in Capharnaum at around 9:58AM. It is situated on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This is also the place where Jesus made His first disciples from among the humble fishermen. Capernaum is mentioned several times in the Gospels, as the scene of many miracles and sermons: “Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught,” (Mk. 1:21). It is where Jesus launched His Ministry (Matthew 4). A church built over the site of St. Peter’s Houseand the ruins of an ancient synagogue, among the oldest synagogues in the world, fascinated me. The synagogue consisted of four parts: the praying hall, the western patio, a southern balustrade and a small room at the northwest of the synagogue. Here Jesus taught in the synagogue, cured the sick and performed miracles.

Entrance to Capharnaum, the Town of Jesus
Entrance to Capharnaum, the Town of Jesus

Capharnaum - A Description
Capharnaum – A Description

The Door of a Monastery now in Capharnaum
The Door of a Monastery now in Capharnaum

Old Houses in Capharnaum
Old Houses in Capharnaum

A Sign going to St. Peter's House
A Sign going to St. Peter’s House

St. Peter's Church from afar above St. Peter's House
St. Peter’s Church from afar above St. Peter’s House

Sign of Pax Romana
Sign of Pax Romana

Branch Candles-Minora to Jews
Branch Candles-Minora to Jews

Old Synagogue in Capharnaum
Old Synagogue in Capharnaum

Old Synagogue in Capharnaum
Old Synagogue in Capharnaum

Me, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum
Me, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum

The group, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum
The group, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum

The group, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum
The group, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum

The Group, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum
The Group, at the back is the Old Synagogue in Capharnaum

Me, Gem and Dr. Leonardo
Me, Gem and Dr. Leonardo
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Old Houses in Capharnaum
Old Houses in Capharnaum

Old Houses in Capharnaum
Old Houses in Capharnaum

Me, the Old Houses in Capharnaum at the back
Me, the Old Houses in Capharnaum at the back
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Me and Gem
Me and Gem

The House of Peter is one block of homes from the old synagogue. Next to the House is the lakeshore of the Sea of Galilee.

Church of St. Peter - Capharnaum
Church of St. Peter – Capharnaum

Please see Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:18 - "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."
Please see Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:18 – “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

Gem at Mt. 16:18
Gem at Mt. 16:18

Me at Matthew 16:18
Me at Matthew 16:18

Me at Church of St. Peter - Capharnaum
Me at Church of St. Peter – Capharnaum

Entrance at Capharnaum - the Town of Jesus
Entrance at Capharnaum – the Town of Jesus

St. Francis at the Entrance of Capharnaum
St. Francis at the Entrance of Capharnaum

The Exit - Capharnaum
The Exit – Capharnaum

Fr. Estong and Belle at the Entrance 0 Capharnaum
Fr. Estong and Belle at the Entrance 0 Capharnaum

Me and Belle at the Entrance - Capharnaum
Me and Belle at the Entrance – Capharnaum

And then we left Capharnaum, the city of Jesus at11AM bound for Jericho.

While on our way to Jericho, we saw huge desert land. That is why, a Holy Land pilgrim in the past said: “Mile after mile of the stony barren wilderness with occasional sightings of camels, goats, sheep and Bedouin settlements. These latter are a vexation to the Israeli government as they are an uncontrollable element of society, knowing all the hidden ways of the barren hills. Bedouin tents have the appearance of a small shanty town and it seems a marvel that they can access water in some very uncompromising terrain. Suddenly, all one’s preconceptions about desert and wilderness need revision as mile after mile of stark hills with a minimum of vegetation sweep away into the far distance on either side of the coach. The man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho alone in the story might possibly have been regarded as a fool by Jesus’ listeners! There is, unsurprisingly, a Good Samaritan Inn.”

I can now easy to understand that this barren place, which would have been familiar to Jesus, offered a way to escape from the excesses of large community living and reflect on the spiritual needs of humanity, oneself and the temptations of the world, unfettered by the pressure of a City or town. There is a famous Desert Spirituality that gave a great influence on the early Church specifically on St. Anthony of the Desert.

Jericho is a small city within the Palestinian Territories, close to the northern end of Dead Sea; some 55 kilometers from Jerusalem; and is administered by Palestinian National Authority. This is possibly the oldest city in the world dating to 8,000 BC; more than 10,000 years. Jericho too the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world (Joshua 6:12-25). At the time of Exodus in the Old Testament, Jericho was the entry point of the Israelites under Joshua into the Promised Land. That is why this place is most famous as the location when Joshua brought down the walls with the blowing of horn: seven priests blew their trumpets and “the walls came tumbling down,” (Jos 6:1-27). The Elijah Spring, where the prophet Elijah miraculously sweetened the bad water, runs across from the Temptation Center. Also within close proximity are the historical sycamore tree Zechariah most probably climbed to catch a glimpse of Jesus. We viewed the Mount of Temptation (Mt. 4:1-11), where Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit on a forty-day of fasting and prayer after His Baptism prior to His public ministry in Capharnaum.

Several other biblical sites, beside the Mount of Temptation, exist in or around Jericho, including Herod’s winter Palace, the city of the Essenes where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, Hasham’s Palace, and the Tel es Sultan. The site of the Baptism of Jesus is 11 kilometers southeast of Jericho.

Other biblical site that can be seen in Jericho is the Mount of Temptation: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1). Also called “Mount Quarantal” which means 40, in reference to Jesus’ fast of “forty days and forty nights” (Matt. 4:2). The Quarantal Monastery stands half way up the mountain.

Desert Going to Jericho
Desert Going to Jericho
 360 going to, jericko02
 361 jordan river

We arrived at Jericho Temptation Restaurant for our lunch at 1PM. This restaurant sits at the doorstep of the biblical city of Jericho. After lunch we shopped for souvenirs at the ground floor and then left this Jericho Temptation Restaurant at 2:19PM drove to River Jordan where St. John the Baptist baptized Jesus and was also an occasion for all of us to renew our Baptism with gown for free. Saher our tour bus driver brought us to a sycamore tree (Luke 19:1-10) for awhile, have pictures of the sycamore tree and then proceeded to River Jordan. While on our way to River Jordan we passed through the Judean Wilderness where Jesus spent 40 days praying and fasting, and it is in this area that John the Baptist (Mark 1) lived and baptized Christ.

We were having our lunch here at Jericho Temptation Restaurant
We were having our lunch here at Jericho Temptation Restaurant

My lunch at Jericho Temptation Restaurant
My lunch at Jericho Temptation Restaurant

Sycamure Tree
Sycamure Tree

Sycamure Tree
Sycamure Tree

Jordan River is a river in Southwest Asia flowing to the Dead Sea. It is one of the world’s most sacred rivers where Jesus was baptized by St. John. The Jordan River is 251 kilometers long. This is also the place where St. John witnessed that Jesus as the Son of God and Lamb of God.

After Baptism we took pictures and then proceeded to the City of Jerusalem. Before going to Commodore Hotel, we visited two churches at around 5PM in Ein Karem.

Me at a Symbolic Baptism at the River Jordan
Me at a Symbolic Baptism at the River Jordan

The Jordan River where Jesus was Baptized
The Jordan River where Jesus was Baptized

Me, Fr. Estong and Marivet Caballero after the Symbolic Baptism
Me, Fr. Estong and Marivet Caballero after the Symbolic Baptism

At the Jordan River
At the Jordan River

Ein Karem is in southwest of Jerusalem and famous for the Church of the Visitation where the Blessed Virgin Mary visited St. Elizabeth and the Church of St. John the Baptist where St. John the Baptist was born: “During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth,” (Lk. 1:39-40).

Sign going to Ein Karem, the Site of the Visitation Church
Sign going to Ein Karem, the Site of the Visitation Church

The Visitation Church at Ein Karem is the place where St. John’s parents Zachariah and St. Elizabeth resided. The New Testament tells us of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth while they both were pregnant (Luke 1:39-56). According to Christian tradition, this is the site where Mary sang her Song of Praise, the Magnificat. This Magnificat is translated into several languages, including Tagalog and written on the wall outside the Church. The Upper Hall of the Church is dedicated to Mary and its walls are decorated with paintings in honor of her. Several sites within the village are associated with that visit. We took pictures and said some prayers and reflection.

Sign at the Entrance Gate of the Visitation Church, Site where BVM visted her cousin Elizabeth
Sign at the Entrance Gate of the Visitation Church, Site where BVM visited her cousin Elizabeth

Sign at the Entrance Gate of the Visitation Church, Site where BVM visited her cousin Elizabeth
Sign at the Entrance Gate of the Visitation Church, Site where BVM visited her cousin Elizabeth

Visitation Church
Visitation Church

Magnificat in Tagalog
Magnificat in Tagalog

Map of Christian Places in Ein Karem
Map of Christian Places in Ein Karem

Map of Christian Places in Ein Karem
Map of Christian Places in Ein Karem

Map of Christian Places in Ein Karem
Map of Christian Places in Ein Karem

Grotto of the Visitation Site inside the Visitation Church
Grotto of the Visitation Site inside the Visitation Church

A Portrait of the Visitation
A Portrait of the Visitation
380 A Portrait of the Visitation
A Portrait of the Visitation

 

A Portrait of the Visitation
A Portrait of the Visitation

Inside the Visitation Church
Inside the Visitation Church

Me at the Altar of the Visitation
Me at the Altar of the Visitation

A Portrait Inside the Visitation Church
A Portrait Inside the Visitation Church

A Sign going to the Visitation Church
A Sign going to the Visitation Church

Visitation Church Up in Ein Karem
Visitation Church Up in Ein Karem

Visitation Church Up and Inside
Visitation Church Up and Inside

Me at the Visitation Church-Ein Karem
Me at the Visitation Church-Ein Karem

Me at the road steps going up the Visitation Church
Me at the road steps going up the Visitation Church

Me at the road steps going up the Visitation Church
Me at the road steps going up the Visitation Church

The Visitation Church at itsGate
The Visitation Church at itsGate

Viewed at the Gate of the Visitation Church
Viewed at the Gate of the Visitation Church

Me at the Gate of the Visitation Church
Me at the Gate of the Visitation Church

Viewed at Going down from the Visitation Church
Viewed at Going down from the Visitation Church

After taking pictures we went down to Mary’s Spring, a spring and fountain at the center of the ancient village. According to one tradition, this was a place where Mary and Elizabeth met from Nazareth and where Mary drank and brought some water to St. Elizabeth residence. But the spring water is now contaminated by the runoff water from the nearby Hadassah Hospital. I washed my face with some of this water. The spring consequently became a place of Christian pilgrimage.

Mary's Spring at the foot of the road steps from the Visitation Church
Mary’s Spring at the foot of the road steps from the Visitation Church

Mary's Spring at the foot of the road steps from the Visitation Church
Mary’s Spring at the foot of the road steps from the Visitation Church

The last church in Ein Karem we went into was St. John the Baptist Church. When we entered the Church, the main gate was half closed and closed when we were about to leave but was open by the Franciscan in-charge. Inside the Church are the remains of an ancient mosaic floor and a grotto where, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born.

St John the Baptist Church in Ein-Karem the Site where St. John the Baptist was born
Entrance of St John the Baptist Church in Ein-Karem the Site where St. John the Baptist was born
 399 St. John the Baptist Church

Benedictus-St. John the Baptist Church
Benedictus-St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist Church Sign
St. John the Baptist Church Sign

St. John the Baptist Church Sign
St. John the Baptist Church Sign

Grotto where St. John the Baptist was placed where he was still a baby
Grotto where St. John the Baptist was placed where he was still a baby

Me at the Grotto where St. John the Baptist was placed where he was still a baby
Me at the Grotto where St. John the Baptist was placed where he was still a baby

Fr. Estong at the Grotto of St. John the Baptist Church
Fr. Estong at the Grotto of St. John the Baptist Church

Pews at St. John the Baptist Church-Ein Karem
Pews at St. John the Baptist Church-Ein Karem

Benedictus in English-St. John the baptist Church-Ein Karem
Benedictus in English-St. John the baptist Church-Ein Karem

Benedictus in Tagalog-St. John the baptist Church-Ein Karem
Benedictus in Tagalog-St. John the baptist Church-Ein Karem
 409 St. John the Baptish Church Sign at the Gate

 410 St. John the Baptish Church Sign at the Gate

After our visit in St. John the Baptist Church, we went to Commodore Hotel in Samuel Ben Adaya Street, Jerusalem, checked in, had dinner at 7pm, rest and sleep.

More Photos courtesy of Rence Galbo

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AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 16, 2013 (Wednesday): JERUSALEM – BETHLEHEM – JERUSALEM

Our early breakfast was at 6:15AM. We left the Commodore Hotel at 7:29AM and drove to Bethlehem for our 10AM Mass at St. Catherine Church near the Church of the Nativity. Morning Prayer was said and Bible passages were distributed. I got this one: “You are mine. Before I formed you, I knew you. And before you were born, I consecrated you,” (Jer. 1:5).

Table Mat at Cpmmodore Hotel - Jerusalem
Table Mat at Cpmmodore Hotel – Jerusalem

My Breakfast at Commodore before going to Bethlehem
My Breakfast at Commodore before going to Bethlehem

Under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, visiting the Bethlehem may require special arrangements, including coordination for transportation and guides because the site is in the West Bank and West Bank is under the control of Palestine. Bethlehem, literally mean “House of Meat,” or the Hebrew Beit Lehem means, “House of Bread,” located in the central West Bank in Palestine, approximately 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. The Old Testament identifies Bethlehem as the City of David because he was crowned here as the king of Israel. The New Testament Gospels identified Bethlehem as the Birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and has been a prime destination for Christian pilgrims for centuries: “And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn,” (Lk. 2:4-7).

Bethlehem - going to the Church of the Nativity
Bethlehem – going to the Church of the Nativity

The Basilica of the Nativity is maintained  by the Greek Orthodox Church and one of the earliest and most important of all Christian ecclesiastical buildings, enshrines a grotto believed to be the place where Jesus was born (Luke 2:7). The Church of Saint Catherine, a Roman Catholic Church, is connected to the Church of Nativity at its northern end. Steps leading down from the main hall of the Church of Saint Catherine arrive at a series of caves, one of which is the Chapel of Saint Jerome.

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem, West Bank
Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem, West Bank

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem, West Bank
Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem, West Bank

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem, West Bank
Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem, West Bank

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem, West Bank
Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem, West Bank

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem, West Bank
Church of the Nativity – Bethlehem, West Bank

The Milk Grotto located in the crypt of a small Franciscan chapel, celebrates the tradition that the cave was used as a place of refuge by the Holy Family before their flight into Egypt.

We arrived in Bethlehem at 8AM and entered the Three Arches Co. Ltd., a souvenir shop located in 388 Manger Street, Bethlehem, Palestine. We bought some souvenirs to be our ‘pasalubong‘ to friends back home and to help Christians who are living in Israel according to Joseph, our tour guide. Christians in Israel count only up to 135,000 as of 2013 census.

At around 9:15AM we went to St. Catherine Church for the Mass at 10AM. Fr. Roming Subaldo presided at Mass. His homily focused on Nativity. According to him that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (or House of Bread). Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is not after popularity but of saving people. Jesus loves all.

418 st. catherine church beside nativity church
Entrance to Saint Catherine Church beside the Nativity Church

Me at inside the St. Catherine Church
Me at inside the St. Catherine Church

Bishop inside the St. Catherine Church
Bishop inside the St. Catherine Church

Me and Marigem inside the Saint Catherine Church - Bethlehem
Me and Marigem inside the Saint Catherine Church – Bethlehem

Inside the St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem beside the Nativity Church
Inside the St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem beside the Nativity Church

st catherine church sacristy
st catherine church sacristy

Inside the Saint Catherine Church before the Mass
Inside the Saint Catherine Church before the Mass

St Catherine church altar
St Catherine church altar

ross inside st catherine church
ross inside st catherine church

Fr. Roming Subaldo presiding the Mass
Fr. Roming Subaldo presiding the Mass

Fr. Roming S. during Holy Communion distribution at st. catherine church
Fr. Roming S. during Holy Communion distribution at st. catherine church

Kissing of the Baby Jesus and Picture taking took place after the Mass. We went into the Chapel of St. Jerome which, according to Christian tradition, is the site where St. Jerome translated the Greek Holy Bible into the Latin Vulgate.

kissing-baby-jesus-atnst-catherine-church
kissing-baby-jesus-atnst-catherine-church

kissing baby jesus at st catherine church - Bethlehem
kissing baby jesus at st catherine church – Bethlehem

Taking pictures after the Mass at St. Catherine Church-Nativity bethlehem
Taking pictures after the Mass at St. Catherine Church-Nativity bethlehem

Taking pictures after the Mass at St. Catherine Church-Nativity bethlehem
Taking pictures after the Mass at St. Catherine Church-Nativity bethlehem

baby jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem
baby jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem

Me and Baby Jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem
Me and Baby Jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem
 436 Me and baby jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem  437 Me and baby jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem
 438 Me and baby jesus-St. catherine Church, Nativity in Bethlehem

Besides the Chapel of St. Jerome, there are other chapels in the Church of Nativity which include the Chapel of Saint Joseph, commemorating the angel’s apparition to Joseph, commanding him to flee to Egypt: “When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him,’” (Mt 2:13); the Chapel of Innocents, commemorating the children killed by Herod (Mt 2:16-18).

a-tomb
a-tomb

cave innocent infant st catherine
cave innocent infant st catherine

a tomb - at the bottom of the St. Catherine Church - Bethlehem
a tomb – at the bottom of the St. Catherine Church – Bethlehem

st jerome empty tomb at the bottom of St. Catherine Church
st jerome empty tomb at the bottom of St. Catherine Church

Me at an altar where St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin
Me at an altar where St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin

Tomb of St. Joseph
Tomb of St. Joseph

We entered the Church of the Nativity and fell in line Church and down to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:1-18). Beneath the altar, there is a silver star with the Latin inscription: “HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary). We ended at around 12:15PM.

Nativity Church - Bethlehem
Nativity Church – Bethlehem
 446 nativity church
 447 nativity church02 mosaic

entering-the-nativity-grotto
entering-the-nativity-grotto

queuing for the nativity grotto
queuing for the nativity grotto
 450 queuing for the nativity grotto

Me and Gem queuing for the nativity grotto
Me and Gem queuing for the nativity grotto
 459 queuing for the nativity grotto
 461 queuing for the nativity grotto  462 Entrance to the Nativity grotto

Entrance to the Nativity Grotto
Entrance to the Nativity Grotto

Me and Fr. Estong at the entrance to the Nativity grotto
Me and Fr. Estong at the entrance to the Nativity grotto

entering the nativity grotto
entering the nativity grotto

sign entrance nativity grotto
sign entrance nativity grotto

nativity grotto site
nativity grotto site

Me and Belle at the manger
Me and Belle at the manger

Nativity Grotto
Nativity Grotto

Me at the back of the nativity grotto
Me at the back of the nativity grotto

st george killing the dragon
st george killing the dragon

Nearby the Nativity Church is the Crystal Restaurant where we had our lunch. After lunch, at 1:20PM, we drove to Shepherds’ Field. We entered the Church of the Shepherds’ Field; a gospel passage was read by Fr Roming Subaldo, the shepherd of the day, and toured the place.

we-ate-our-lunch in Cyrstal Restaurant - Bethlehem
we-ate-our-lunch in Cyrstal Restaurant – Bethlehem

Inside the Crystal Restaurant
Inside the Crystal Restaurant

my lunch at crystal restaurant - bethlehem
my lunch at crystal restaurant – bethlehem

The Franciscans, the Custodians of Holy Land places, have a lovely Chapel of the Shepherds in the form of a tent, about 3 kilometers east of Bethlehem, whose cupola, with tiny glass windows, reminds one of the heavens and the stars. The place is located in the Village of Beit Sahour. The Shepherds’ Field is identified as the scene where the Angel of the Lord visited the Shepherds’ Field and informed them of the Birth of Jesus: “Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. he angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord,” (Mt 2:8-11). The shepherds saw the Star of Nativity. This image of the Star of nativity is enshrined beneath the Altar of the Church of the Nativity.

shepherds-place-entrance
shepherds-place-entrance

shepherd's place entrance
shepherd’s place entrance

No Smoking sign going to Shepherd's field area
No Smoking sign going to Shepherd’s field area

Shepherd's field Chapel from a short distance
Shepherd’s field Chapel from a short distance

Inside the Shepherd's field Chapel
Inside the Shepherd’s field Chapel

Written in the wall of Shepherd's field Chapel
Written in the wall of Shepherd’s field Chapel

Inside the Shepherd's field Chapel - its dome
Inside the Shepherd’s field Chapel – its dome

Shepherd's field Chapel
Shepherd’s field Chapel

entering the Shepherd's field grotto
entering the Shepherd’s field grotto

Inside the Shepherd's field grotto
Inside the Shepherd’s field grotto
 485 Inside the Shepherd's field grotto

Me Inside the Shepherd's field grotto
Me Inside the Shepherd’s field grotto

Marivet C Inside the Shepherd's field grotto
Marivet C Inside the Shepherd’s field grotto

Me, Marivet C Inside the Shepherd's field grotto
Me, Marivet C Inside the Shepherd’s field grotto

Afterwards, we went to the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent his last hours praying before he was arrested, is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives: “And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray” (Mk. 14:32). To get there, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley: “… he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered,” (Jn. 18:1). It was also in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus and His disciples often retired and meditate and pray. When we arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane, we waited for awhile and then entered the Garden; spent 15 minutes there, and burned all the petitions sent to us and our own petitions too.

olive-trees-at-the-garden-of-gethsemane
olive-trees-at-the-garden-of-gethsemane

Garden of Gethsemane Sign
Garden of Gethsemane Sign

Olive trees at the Garden of gethsemane
Olive trees at the Garden of gethsemane

Basilica of gethsemane Sign
Basilica of gethsemane Sign

Olive trees at the Garden of gethsemane
Olive trees at the Garden of gethsemane

Burning Urn in the garden of Gethsemane during our Petition
Burning Urn in the garden of Gethsemane during our Petition

Me Burning my intentions
Me Burning my intentions

the Burning Can at the Garden of gethsemane
the Burning Can at the Garden of gethsemane

Garden of gethsemane sign
Garden of gethsemane sign

Garden of gethsemane sign
Garden of gethsemane sign

After the Garden of Gethsemane, we entered into the Church of Agony, a Roman Catholic Church, also called the Church of All Nations, home to some magnificent mosaics depicting the Agony of Jesus. According to tradition, the Rock of Agony lies inside the church where Jesus is said to have prayed before His arrest (Mk. 14:32-42). This Church is in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and next to the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Grotto of Agony is not far from The Tomb of the Virgin Mary and The Church of St. Mary Magdalene. And near the top of the Mount of Olives is the Chapel of the Ascension: “And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight,” (Acts 1:9).

going-the-the-basilica-of-gethsemane (Church of the Agony)
going-the-the-basilica-of-gethsemane (Church of the Agony)

at the Entrance of the Church of the Agony, Gethsemane - a Reminder
at the Entrance of the Church of the Agony, Gethsemane – a Reminder
 501 at the Entrance - a Reminder

Basilica-of-the-Lord's-Agony-sign-gethsemane
Basilica-of-the-Lord’s-Agony-sign-gethsemane

Inside the Basilica of the Lord's Agony -Gethsemane
Inside the Basilica of the Lord’s Agony -Gethsemane

Inside the Basilica of the Lord's Agony -Gethsemane
Inside the Basilica of the Lord’s Agony -Gethsemane

The Stone were Jesus was agonizing
The Stone were Jesus was agonizing

The Stone were Jesus was agonizing
The Stone were Jesus was agonizing

Inside the Basilica of the Lord's Agony -Gethsemane
Inside the Basilica of the Lord’s Agony -Gethsemane

Me at The Stone were Jesus was agonizing
Me at The Stone were Jesus was agonizing

Me at the altar Inside the Basilica of the Lord's Agony -Gethsemane
Me at the altar Inside the Basilica of the Lord’s Agony -Gethsemane

After touring, taking pictures and praying silently at the Church of Agony, our tour bus driver Saher, brought us to Pater Noster Church, one of several splendid churches in this sacred place called Mount of Olives. Mount of Olives is also called Mount Olivet, is a mountain ridge in east Jerusalem and is administered by Israel as part of the country’s capital, Jerusalem. It was named after the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The Mount of Olives is first mentioned in connection with David’s flight from Absalom (1Sam 15:30) in the Old Testament: “And David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up.” The Mount of Olives too is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Mt. 21:1; 26:30) as the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and the place where Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem. Jesus spent time on Mount of Olives, teaching and prophesying to His disciples (Mt 24-25), returning after each day to rest (Lk 21:37), and also coming there on the night of His betrayal (Mt 26:39).

Pater Noster(The Lord’s Prayer) Church was named after the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: “Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…” (Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4). At the wall, inside out, of the Pater Noster Church, the Lord’s Prayer is translated into several languages of the world including Tagalog, Ilonggo and Pampango.

pater-noster
pater-noster

our Tour Guide and some of of my co-pilgrims inside the Pater Noster
our Tour Guide and some of of my co-pilgrims inside the Pater Noster
 514 Pater Noster  515 Pater Noster

Pater Noster in Tagalog
Pater Noster in Tagalog

Inside Pater Noster
Inside Pater Noster

Pater Noster in Ilonggo
Pater Noster in Ilonggo

And then we went to Dominus Flevit Church, another splendid church of Mount of Olives, passing the Palm Sunday road: “And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it…” (Lk. 19:41). While walking along the Palm Sunday road, we saw cemetery of Jews (necropolis) and Muslims. Upon arrival at Dominus Flevit Church, a prayer was said and took some pictures. And then we went back to our tour bus waiting us near the Church of the Agony down below the Mount of Olives passing again through the Palm Sunday Road.

Palm Sunday Road going to Dominus Flevit
Palm Sunday Road going to Dominus Flevit

Palm Sunday Road going to Dominus Flevit
Palm Sunday Road going to Dominus Flevit

Jewish Cemetery while on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road
Jewish Cemetery while on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road

Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road
Jewish Cemetery while on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road

Some of our co-pilgrims on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road
Some of our co-pilgrims on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road

Me and Some of our co-pilgrims on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road
Me and Some of our co-pilgrims on our way to Dominus Flevit passing by Palm Sunday Road

Another Jewish Cemetery
Another Jewish Cemetery

The Sanctuary of the A Sign before entering the Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem
The Sanctuary of the A Sign before entering the Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem

a Tomb Inside the Dominus Flevit
a Tomb Inside the Dominus Flevit

Dominus Flevit Church
Dominus Flevit Church

Viewed from Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem
Viewed from Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem

Viewed from Dominus Flevit - a Russian Orthodox Church
Viewed from Dominus Flevit – a Russian Orthodox Church

Dominus Flevit Sign
Dominus Flevit Sign

We drove to Commodore Hotel and arrived at 5:22PM. Bishop Gutierrez blessed all religious articles we bought. Dinner at 6:30PM, rest and sleep.

at-Commodore-Hotel-Jerusalem-where-Bishop-Gutierrez-blessed-all-our-religious-articles
at-Commodore-Hotel-Jerusalem-where-Bishop-Gutierrez-blessed-all-our-religious-articles

Bishop Gutierrez blessed our religious articles at Commodore Hotel Jerusalem
Bishop Gutierrez blessed our religious articles at Commodore Hotel Jerusalem

For more pictures during this DAY see this LINK courtesy of Rence Galbo

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AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 17, 2013: JERUSALEM

Our breakfast was too early at 5:15AM and left at 6:16AM for our Via Dolorosa going up to the Holy Sepulchre. We entered through the St. Stephen’s Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem. We started our 14-Station of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) at 6:25AM with Bishop Gutierrez as the first one who carried the Cross, and finished the Station to Church of the Holy Sepulchre which was built over the site of  the Calvary (Jesus’ Crucifixion) and the Tomb of Jesus. The Church also houses under its roof the place called (Church of) Golgotha, that is to say, ‘a place of a skull’ as well as the last 5 Stations (10th to the 14th Station) of Via Dolorosa. it is named as ‘place of a skull’ most probably because of its form, that of a human being’s skull.

St. Stephen's Gate, Old City of Jerusalem
St. Stephen’s Gate, Old City of Jerusalem

After entering St. Stephen's Gate
After entering St. Stephen’s Gate

Start of Via Dolorosa and the cross we carried while going up to the Holy Sepulchre
Start of Via Dolorosa and the cross we carried while going up to the Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre houses also the place of Jesus’ Burial and Resurrection: “When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus…. So Joseph took it, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and place it in his own tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away,” (Mt. 27:57-60).

Perhaps the high point of every pilgrimage is honoring the Passion of Christ and walking the Via Dolorosa (or the Way of Sorrows), which is the route Jesus walked on His way to the Calvary: “So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side or Jesus between them,” (Jn. 19:17-18).

While doing our Station of the Cross, the route which Jesus walked on His way to Calvary weaves around between a tangle of shops, houses and kiosks. I was quite scandalized by what I saw as sign of commercialization of a sacred path. We stop at each station, with appropriate readings, prayers for each station, and singing.

After we finished our Station in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we joined a multitude of people at the Church of the Crucifixion and Burial and queued to get to the last two stations. The Orthodox presence was overwhelming.   This response to the honoring of God is difficult for those of us with simpler views of what pleases God and what gives Him honor, as someone had said.

 536 start of via dolorosa and the cross we carried dur

Holy Sepulchre where the 10th to 15th finished Stations happened here
Holy Sepulchre where the 10th to 15th finished Stations happened here
 538 holy sepulchre02  539 holy sepulchre00

Entrance to the Holy Sepulchre Church
Entrance to the Holy Sepulchre Church
 541 Entrance to the Holy Sepulchre Church

entering holy sepulchre where the cross was enshrined
entering holy sepulchre where the cross was enshrined

Calvary
Calvary

Queuing to the Holy Sepulchre
Queuing to the Holy Sepulchre
 546 Queuing to the Holy Sepulchre
 547 Queuing to the Holy Sepulchre

holy sepulchre site
holy sepulchre site
 550 holy sepulchre site02  551 holy sepulchre site03

Our Mass was at the Chapel inside the Holy Sepulchre Church. Bishop was the presider. Fr. Ramil Poquita CP as the main celebrant. It started at 8:10am. The bishop was the homilist. His homily focus on faith like: 1st reading about faith: believing, trusting, obeying. He touched also the Responsorial Psalm as about salvation as redemption. The Gospel reading too which is about dying. Jesus died for us. So, as disciples of Jesus like us: listens, learns, and deepens.

Me before the mass-at a-Chapel within the Holy Sepulchre Church
Me before the mass-at a-Chapel within the Holy Sepulchre Church
 553 before the mass at a chapel in holy sepulchre chur

Fr. Ramil Poquita CP was main celebrant at a chapel in Holy Sepulchre while Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD was the main presider
Fr. Ramil Poquita CP was main celebrant at a chapel in Holy Sepulchre while Bishop Dinulado D. Gutierrez DD was the main presider

Bishop Guitierrez, the presider of the Mass delivered the homily
Bishop Guitierrez, the presider of the Mass delivered the homily

An altar of a chapel in the Holy Sepulchre Church where our Mass was held
An altar of a chapel in the Holy Sepulchre Church where our Mass was held

Group picture of Priests with the Bishop after Mass
Group picture of Priests with the Bishop after Mass
 558 Priests with the Bishop after Mass  559 Priests with the Bishop after Mass

After the Mass Bible passages were distributed and I got this: “To whom much is given, from him much will be required,” (Lk 12:48).

At 9:30AM, the Empty Tomb within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was our next queuing. So we queued five abreast then funnel down to a single entry doorway to enter the Empty Tomb where it is believed Christ was buried and resurrected. With a touch of sad irony, Joseph, our tour guide, had advised us to keep tightly packed together to deter those who might attempt to queue ahead of us or mix with our group. Sure enough, a woman, most probably a tour guide too, skirted round about more than a dozen of people. Many of us were delighted to see her sent to the rear of the queue, yet astonishingly she appeared at the grotto entrance at the same time as us. It is difficult to conceive what formative or subsequent factors shape an individual to be so aggressively pushy and in such a place.

holy-sepulchre-dome
holy-sepulchre-dome

holy-sepulchre Church
holy-sepulchre Church
 562 holy sepulchre (church of the resurrection)  563 holy sepulchre (church of the resurection)

entrance to empty tomb
entrance to empty tomb
 565 20131017_094445
 566 entrance to empty tomb01

Going to Empty Tomb
Going to Empty Tomb

to-empty-tomb
to-empty-tomb

empty tomb
empty tomb

After Viewing the Empty
After Viewing the Empty

after viewing the empty at the entrance of the Holy Sepulchre Church
after viewing the empty at the entrance of the Holy Sepulchre Church

outside holy,sepulchre
outside holy,sepulchre

When we finished everything in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we shopped and bought something at a souvenir shop outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After shopping we started to walk at10:25AM to Jaffa Gate and the Citadel (Tower) of David.

after shopping picture outside with james
after shopping picture outside with james

after shopping picture outside with James
after shopping picture outside with James

Me in a Car
Me in a Car

after holy sepulchre we shopped here
after holy sepulchre we shopped here

Jaffa Gate is also known as Bab al-Khalil or Gate of the Friend, the only one of the Old City of Jerusalem gates positioned at a right to the wall. The name al-Khalil refers to Abraham, the beloved of God who is buried in Hebron. This gate leads to the Armenian, Christian, Muslim and Jewish Quarters.

Jaffa Gate
Jaffa Gate

The Citadel (Tower) of David is an ancient citadel located at the Jaffa Gate. This was built to strengthen a strategically weak point in the Old City’s defenses.

tower of david built by herod
tower of david built by herod

tower-of-david
tower-of-david

We rested for a moment at the Citadel, had a picture taking and then we were on our way to Mount Zion. Mount Zion is an elevation west of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The term ‘Mount Zion’ is applied to the Temple Mount or the City of David. For Jews, the term ‘Zion’ refers to the entire city of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. Important pilgrimage sites in Mount Zion are the Basilica of the Assumption (or Dormition) and the Upper Room of the Last Supper (or Cenacle).

entrance to upper room and dormition abbey mt zion
entrance to upper room and dormition abbey mt zion

Zion Gate Street
Zion Gate Street

Before we went to these two important sites, an explanation was made in the Zion Gate Street and then went to the Basilica of the Assumption (Dormition). The church is built on the remains of the Byzantine church of “Hagia Zion” and also of other churches. The Church of the Dormition Abbey is the traditional site of Mary’s Assumption to heaven. We entered to the crypt Mama mary and prayed the 4th glorious mystery-the Assumption

tour guide joseph explain dormition and cenacle
tour guide joseph explain dormition and cenacle

Caenaculum Sign
Caenaculum Sign

dormition abbey
dormition abbey

haia zion or holy zion dormition church
haia zion or holy zion dormition church

Insidde the basilica of assumption_dormition madonna
Insidde the basilica of assumption_dormition madonna

Inside the Dormition Church
Inside the Dormition Church

Bishop Gutierrez inside the Dormition Church
Bishop Gutierrez inside the Dormition Church

Entrance Sign sleeping madonna
Entrance Sign sleeping madonna

dormition madonna
dormition madonna

Me in dormition madonna at dormition abbey
Me in dormition madonna at dormition abbey

oming of the holy spirit - underground of Dormition Church
oming of the holy spirit – underground of Dormition Church

oming of the holy spirit - underground of Dormition Church
oming of the holy spirit – underground of Dormition Church

Me at the Coming of the holy spirit - underground of Dormition Church
Me at the Coming of the holy spirit – underground of Dormition Church

Me at the eucharist
Me at the eucharist

dormition Mary
dormition Mary

Inside the dormiti8n,church
Inside the dormiti8n,church

Inside the dormition church
Inside the dormition church
 599 Inside the Dormition Church
 600 Dormition Mary

Me and the Dormition Mary
Me and the Dormition Mary

Outside the Dormition Abbey
Outside the Dormition Abbey

After we had done everything in the Church of the Dormition Abbey, we walked to the Upper Room of the Last Supper (Coenaculum), the place where Jesus and His disciples ate the Last Supper: “Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you,’” (Lk. 22:19-20). It is here also that the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist was instituted. Cenacle was also the place where the Pentecost took place.

While we were on the Upper Room, Bro. Millard, our tour guide from Manila and our co-pilgrims, prayed for us 8 priests to have happy, healthy and holy life. And they asked us 8 priests to pray for them too and we prayed for them by extending our hands to them and gave the blessing. After the Upper Room we walked to Harp of David Restaurant for or lunch.

Harp of David
Harp of David

Harp of David and the Dome of Dormition Church
Harp of David and the Dome of Dormition Church

A caption before entering the Cenacle (Upper Room)
A caption before entering the Cenacle (Upper Room)

upper room from crusaders (800 AD) where the Sacrament of Priesthood and Holy Eucharist were instituted by Jesus
upper room from crusaders (800 AD) where the Sacrament of Priesthood and Holy Eucharist were instituted by Jesus

upper room
upper room

Rence and Gem sleeping hehehe at the Upper Room
Rence and Gem sleeping hehehe at the Upper Room

The Shepardic Synagogue of Mt. Zion
The Shepardic Synagogue of Mt. Zion

our lunch was here after the upper room
our lunch was here after the upper room

My lunch food
My lunch food

during lunch
during lunch
 613 during lunch02

at the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch
at the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch

Viewed from the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch
Viewed from the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch

Me at the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch
Me at the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch

Viewed from the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch
Viewed from the top of the restaurant where we were having our lunch

After our lunch went to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu(“crowing rooster”) located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion. The entrance of the church is from the parking area which is located above the main level of the church. In the courtyard is a statue that depicts the events of the denial and include its main figures: the cock, the woman, and the Roman soldier. The churchis built on the house of the high priest Caiaphas: “Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered” (Matt 26:57) and where He was interrogated and imprisoned. And this beautiful Church commemorates St. Peter’s denial of Jesus after his arrest: “But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him,” (Lk. 22:57; Mk 14:53-66); but made his repentance and then being forgiven by Jesus. We prayed and went down to holy pit where Jesus was lowered down to this pit and spent the whole night after he was arrested.

St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)

St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)

Inside the St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
Inside the St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)

Inside the St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
Inside the St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
 622 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)  623 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)

Inside the St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
Inside the St Peter Gallicantu (cock-crows)
 625 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)
 626 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)  627 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)
 628 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)  629 Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)
 631 Me Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows)

A caption in the dungeon where Jesus was kept after he was condemned to death
A caption in the dungeon where Jesus was kept after he was condemned to death

Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows) Marking
Inside the St. Peter Gallicanum (cock crows) Marking

Outside the St. Peter Gallicantu (cock crows)
Outside the St. Peter Gallicantu (cock crows)

After St. Peter in Gallicantu to the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed an infirm on the Sabbath: “Jesus said to him, Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your mat, and walk.’ Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a Sabbath.” (Jn. 5: 8-9). We entered as well the St. Anne Church nearby, where the tomb of Sts. Joachim and Anne were. We sang and the angel sang with us. We went into the crypt below the church.

After our visit in the Pool of Bethesda, went home to Commodore at around 4:15PM; dinner at 6:30PM and then went to Jaffa Street in Jerusalem for a bottle of beer. We went back to the Hotel before 1AM the next day.

Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem

Me at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
Me at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem

Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem with a bucket of Jerusalem Beer - all kind
Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem with a bucket of Jerusalem Beer – all kind

Trump at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
Trump at Jaffa St. Jerusalem

Lots of Beer at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
Lots of Beer at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem

Me with ots of Beer at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
Me with ots of Beer at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
 641 Lots of Beer at Gimmick (mike's Place) at Jaffa St. Jerusalem  642 Lots of Beer at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
 643 Lots of Beer at Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem

Before we went to Commodore Hotel after Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem
Before we went to Commodore Hotel after Gimmick at Jaffa St. Jerusalem

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AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 18, 2013: JERUSALEM – EMMAUS – QUMRAN – DEAD SEA – JERUSALEM

Our breakfast was at 7AM and then headed for Ascension Chapel in the top of Mount of Olives at 8:15AM which, according to tradition, Jesus ascended into heaven: “When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight,” (Acts 1:9). We prayed at the Ascension Chapel for 5 minutes. The Mount of Olives is a sacred place for both Jews and Christians: “Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives,” (Matt. 26:30). On a rock inside can be seen a footprint which is identified, according to Christian tradition, as the print that Jesus left as he ascended into heaven. Afterwards, at around 9am, we proceeded to Abu Gosh for our 10am Mass.

Chapel of the Ascension - Mt. of Olives
Chapel of the Ascension – Mt. of Olives
 646 chapel of ascension02 top of mt of olives

The Dome of the Chapel of the Ascension
The Dome of the Chapel of the Ascension
 649

Ascension Grotto
Ascension Grotto

Me at the Ascension Chapel
Me at the Ascension Chapel

Rock of dome viewed from mt of olives ascension church
Rock of dome viewed from mt of olives ascension church

Abu Gosh (Emmaus) is an Arab town in Israel, located 10 kilometers west of Jerusalem, that is, situated halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is marked by the ruins of a 12th-Century church. Jesus appeared before two of his followers in Emmaus after His resurrection: After his resurrection, Jesus joined two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus: “Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven milesfrom Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (Lk. 24:13-16).

We arrived in Emmaus at around 9:32AM for our 10AM Mass at the Church of Resurrection, Abu Gosh. The Mass started at 10:04AM which was also the Feast of St. Luke. Fr. Ruben Oceno was the presider and homilist. He started by citing 3 Rs (Rest, Recharge, Reflect) on the first day Mass of the pilgrimage in Mount Nebo. He made mentioned about CSG – Come, Stay, and Go which is the pattern of discipleship- “come follow me.” Not all have the privilege to step on this holy ground. The call of Jesus to be with him is to stay with him. “O come all ye faithful is the joy to be with him.” Its nice to be here but Jesus answered: “No, go back to the Philippines.”

dates-at-crusader-church, Abu Gosh
dates-at-crusader-church, Abu Gosh

entrance of crusader church at emmaus (Abu Gosh
entrance of crusader church at emmaus (Abu Gosh

The altar of the crusader church, Emmaus
The altar of the crusader church, Emmaus

Me at altar of the crusader church, Emmaus before the Mass
Me at altar of the crusader church, Emmaus before the Mass

co-pilgrims before the Mass at crusader church
co-pilgrims before the Mass at crusader church

The Cross at the Crusader Church
The Cross at the Crusader Church

Fr. Ruben O. presiding the Mass at the Crusader Church - Emmaus (Abu Gosh)
Fr. Ruben O. presiding the Mass at the Crusader Church – Emmaus (Abu Gosh)

Fr. Ruben consecrating the Blood of Christ
Fr. Ruben consecrating the Blood of Christ

My Co-pilgrims after the Mass at the Crusader Church Emmaus
My Co-pilgrims after the Mass at the Crusader Church Emmaus
 663 co-pilgrims took communion at crusader church

After the Mass at The Priests together with Bishop D. Gutierrez at Emmaus Church (Crusader Church) - Abu Gosh
After the Mass at The Priests together with Bishop D. Gutierrez at Emmaus Church (Crusader Church) – Abu Gosh

After the Mass at Emmaus Church Abu Gosh
After the Mass at Emmaus Church Abu Gosh

Me After the Mass at Emmaus Church Abu Gosh
Me After the Mass at Emmaus Church Abu Gosh

Crpyt underneath the crusader church yr 1143 spring
Crpyt underneath the crusader church yr 1143 spring

Crusader Church - Emmaus (Abu Gosh)
Crusader Church – Emmaus (Abu Gosh)

Gem and Saher our tourist bus driver
Gem and Saher our tourist bus driver

benedictine abbey sign crusader church emmaus
benedictine abbey sign crusader church emmaus

After the Mass we left the Church of the Resurrection in Emmaus, Abu Gosh (to fight) bound for Qumran for our lunch and arrived there at around 11:12AM. After our lunch, we shopped at the souvenir shop of the restaurant and then toured around the Qumran Park old community where Qumran manuscripts discovered and are enshrined now at Israel’s Museum.

Qumran is one of the most striking archeological sites in the world and home to the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered last 1947. This place is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in the West Bank.

going to Qumran Valley
going to Qumran Valley

Qumran National Park
Qumran National Park

My lunch at a Qumran Restaurant
My lunch at a Qumran Restaurant

qumran valley
qumran valley
 676 qumran valley02

The Group at the Qumran Valley
The Group at the Qumran Valley

Starting point for qumran park tour
Starting point for qumran park tour

Me during the qumran park tour
Me during the qumran park tour
 680 Me during the qumran park tour

Qumran park
Qumran park
 682 Qumran park  683 Qumran park
 684 Qumran park  685 Qumran park
 686 Qumran park  687 Qumran park
 688 Qumran park  689 Qumran park
 690 Qumran park  691 Qumran park
 692 Qumran park

viewed-from-the-qumran-park-trail
viewed-from-the-qumran-park-trail
 694 Qumran park

Viewed from the Qumran Park Trail
Viewed from the Qumran Park Trail

Me at the Qumran Park
Me at the Qumran Park

Qumran National Park Sign
Qumran National Park Sign
 698 qumran

After our tour at Qumran Park, we headed to Dead Sea where the seawater is 35% salt. Dead Sea, which is also called Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Israel and the West Bank to the west, and Jordan to the east. Its surface and shores are 422 meters (1,3385 ft) below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth’s surface on dry land. The Dead Sea is 378m (1,240 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometers (42 mi) long and 18 kilometers (11mi) wide at its widest point. It lies at the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. In the Bible the Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah, and the Eastern Sea. The designation “Dead Sea” is a modern name, which never appears in the Bible.

The mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component solar radiation, and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth each have specific health effects.

We were instructed to swim on our back and not on our breast. It is too salty that no living organism can thrive in it and we could literally float without any effort. The black mud can heal one’s skin problems. We took a dip in the water before we proceeded to Jerusalem for our final pilgrimage site, the Western (Wailing) Wall where Jews all over the world gather to commemorate the destruction of the first and second temple and pray for Israel’s restoration.

The Western (Wailing) Wall is the holiest of Jewish religious spot in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is called so because, for centuries, the Jewish people have gathered on the wall of their Lost Holly Temple after the Romans destroyed it last 70 AD. This Western Wall was built by Herod the King of Judea in 20 BC. It took for 11 years to construct it, according to a Jewish historian, Josephus. During the construction, it rained only during nights so as not to interfere  with the workers’ progress.

Part of Western (Wailing) Wall
Part of Western (Wailing) Wall

Reminder before entering the Western Wall
Reminder before entering the Western Wall
 701 Reminder before entering the Western Wall

Western (Wailing) Wall
Western (Wailing) Wall
 703 Western (Wailing) Wall Sign

Joseph our Israel Tour Guide explaining
Joseph our Israel Tour Guide explaining
 705 Western (Wailing) Wall

Me, Just Grino at the Western (Wailing) Wall
Me, Just Grino at the Western (Wailing) Wall

Male Pilgrims of our Group at the Western (Wailing) Wall
Male Pilgrims of our Group at the Western (Wailing) Wall

Inside the Synagogue at the Western (Wailing) Wall
Inside the Synagogue at the Western (Wailing) Wall

Inside the synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall
Inside the synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall

Me inside the Synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall
Me inside the Synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall

Me at the Synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall
Me at the Synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall
 712 Me at the Synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall
 713 Me at the Synagogue of the Western (Wailing) Wall

Western (Wailing) Wall
Western (Wailing) Wall

Reminder before entering the Western (Wailing) Wall
Reminder before entering the Western (Wailing) Wall

At almost 4PM, we drove to Western (Wailing) Wall and arrived there at almost 5PM; entered into the gate and instructed to bring only our cameras because there would be inspection and laser-machine scanning. We went to Western Wall and have a short prayer and petition wearing a skull cap; entered a synagogue and then went back to the Commodore Hotel in Jerusalem. Dinner at 6:30PM and then rest and sleep.

References:

Executive Resources, Inc.: An Invitation to Join Pilgrimage to Jordan and the Holy Land plus Dubai – Manila

Executive Resources, Inc.: Scriptural Readings to the Land Where Jesus Walked – Manila

Qassem Company: Our Tour to the Holy Land – Old City, Jerusalem

Vered Hasharon Travel and Tours: Personal Holy Land Travelogue – Jerusalem

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AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 19, 2013: JERUSALEM SHEIKH HUSSEIN BRIDGE AMMAN AIRPORT DUBAI

 We woke up at around 4:30 in the morning; prepared everything for our travel to Amman, Jordan. Check out from the Commodore Hotel after an early breakfast was served at 5:15AM. Departed at around 6AM for the border of Israel and crossed once more the Sheikh Hussein Bridge to Amman, Jordan. After crossing the Bridge, we passed through immigration and customs formalities of Israel at around 7:52AM and finished everything at around 8:55AM.

Early Breakfast at Commodore Hotel before we went 2 Amman, Jordan
Early Breakfast at Commodore Hotel before we went 2 Amman, Jordan

With the birthday celebrant Fr Ramil Poquita CP at Commodore Hotel before we departed for Amman, Jordan
With the birthday celebrant Fr Ramil Poquita CP at Commodore Hotel before we departed for Amman, Jordan

Me at the Commodore Hotel lobby, Jerusalem, Israel
Me at the Commodore Hotel lobby, Jerusalem, Israel

Inside the Bus going to Amman, Jordan from Commodore Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel
Inside the Bus going to Amman, Jordan from Commodore Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel

Me, inside the bus going to Amman, Jordan from Commodore Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel
Me, inside the bus going to Amman, Jordan from Commodore Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel

While on our way to the boarder of Israel and Jordan we prayed the holy rosary, sharing of experiences of pilgrimage were being done. We, at the same, summarized the pilgrimage experiences through the four (4) groups of Holy Rosary Mysteries.

Our Tour Bus at a stopover in a WC-our tour Busduring Jerusalem tour
Our Tour Bus at a stopover in a WC-our tour Busduring Jerusalem tour

Me at a stop over before reaching Israel immigration
Me at a stop over before reaching Israel immigration

trees in the desert
trees in the desert

While waiting for our turn to enter the Immigration of Israel, Bible passages were given and I got this one: “Abba, all things are possible for you: take this cup from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want,” (Mark 14:36). I didn’t like what our tour guide did but I got this passage. God’s will must be followed no matter what because He knows more than me.

A security person checked our passport before we rode the bus. We then proceeded to Amman, Jordan and the security personnel of the Jordanian government at a check point checked our passport again. Adam, our tour guide from Amman, Jordan, collected our passports and he was ahead of us for the processing at the Jordan Immigration.

Me at the Jordan border Immigration
Me at the Jordan border Immigration

Amman boarder point
Amman boarder point

Then we entered the Immigration of Jordan; let our bags passed through the laser machine or screened by a screen machine for security and safety purposes. And then went up to the bus at around 10am. Left for Amman, Jordan at around 10:05AM.We arrived at a certain restaurant in Amman, Jordan for our lunch and then went to airport at around 1:30pm.

Going back to Amman
Going back to Amman
 732 going back to amman01

we ate our lunch in this Amman Restaurant  before going to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman Jordan
we ate our lunch in this Amman Restaurant before going to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman Jordan
 733.01 Rence

Certificate of Excellence of Tawaheen al hawa Redtaurant Amman Jordan
Certificate of Excellence of Tawaheen al hawa Redtaurant Amman Jordan

We arrived in Queen Alia International Airport at 2:15pm. We entered the Immigration of the airport in Amman, Jordan and finished everything at around 3:30pm. We left Amman for Dubai, UAE at 5:35PM.

Me at the Pre-Departure Area of Queen Alia International Airport, Amman Jordan
Me at the Pre-Departure Area of Queen Alia International Airport, Amman Jordan

Me at the Pre-Departure Area of Queen Alia International Airport, Amman Jordan
Me at the Pre-Departure Area of Queen Alia International Airport, Amman Jordan

We arrived Dubai at around 9:50PM. We entered through the Dubai Immigration and we rode the bus to Grand Belle Vue Hotel at around 11:23pm. We arrived in the hotel at 11:45PM; processed everything and entered our hotel room at 12:15AM. Have our rest and sleep.

Me and Gem Wright before going through at the Dubai Immigration after disembarking from the Emirates Airlines plane from Amman, Jordan
Me and Gem Wright before going through at the Dubai Immigration after disembarking from the Emirates Airlines plane from Amman, Jordan

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