AN ILLUSTRATED PILGRIM’S NOTE

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October 13, 2013 (Sunday): AMMAN – SHEIK HUSSEIN – MOUNT TABOR – NAZARETH – TIBERIAS

After breakfast (See my FOOD) we checked out of Geneva Hotel (See Picture), in Amman, Jordan. We left the hotel at 7:57AM and drove to cross the border of Jordan into Israel through the Sheik Hussein Bridge where Jordan River is. While on our way to the border, Morning Prayer was said and Bible passages were distributed. I got this one: “You, Lord are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands,” (Ps. 16:5). Yes, my future in the Holy Land is really in the hands of the Lord.

See Pictures along the road going to Sheik Hussein Bridge

We arrived at the Jordan Valley Border Point at 10:15am. A Jordanian police checked our passports; a few meters away all our bags went over the x-ray machine; again a few meters away from x-ray machine we entered the immigration of Jordan for picture taking and issuing of tax slip. Then another meters away a Jordanian police checked again our passports with the tax slip. We passed by Sheik Hussein Bridge. Went through the Israel’s Immigration processes and formalities and finished at around 11:05am. Our Israel’s tour guide waited us after the immigration.

See Pictures after Israel’s immigration, Going to Kfar Tavor, Israel

After immigration, we drove to Sahara Restaurant in Kfar Tavor, Israel for our lunch at 12 noon. Kfar Tavor, according to what I read, is a Jewish community. The main course was not so good for a Filipino taste like what I had; no spoon was given, only fork.

164 The Restaurant we eat our lunch going to Mt Tabor
Sahara Restaurant was the restaurant where we ate our lunch
165 The Restaurant we eat our lunch going to Mt Tabor
Sahara Restaurant

 

166 food at sahara rest
My food at the Sahara restaurant but not the main course
main course food
This was now the main food

 

169 Inside The Restaurant we eat our lunch going to Mt Tabor
Inside Sahara Restaurant where we were having our lunch before we drove to Mount Tabor

168 within sahara rest at galilee

After lunch, we left Sahara Restaurant at 1PM for our 2PM Mass at the Church of Transfiguration in Mount Tabor. Mount Tabor is 530 miles above sea level. It is located in Lower Galilee, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, 17 kilometers west of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. This was also the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus in the presence of Sts. Peter, James and John where Moses and Elijah appeared: “While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,” (Lk 9:28-36; Mt. 17:1-13). With time to reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity, the Mass here was a good preparation for the journey to Jerusalem where Jesus suffered, died and resurrected.

173 mt tabor02
Mount Tabor viewed from the tour bus
172 Olives
Olive trees along the road going to Mount Tabor

 

We arrived at around 1:15PM at the foot of Mount Tabor and waited for taxis to bring us up to Mount Tabor for the Mass which was presided over by Fr. Floro Litigio in the Church of Transfiguration, one of the most beautiful churches in the Holy Land. His homily focused on Transfiguration, and the Sunday’s gospel on ten lepers which was gratitude.

174 waiting for taxi to mt tabor
At the foot of Mount Tabor While waiting for taxi to bring us up to Mount Tabor

175 While for taxi going to Mt. Tabor-Transfiguration Church

 176 nazareth at the background177 going to mt tabor

The Church of Transfiguration (or St. James Church) was built on the peak of Mount Tabor. The church was built upon the remains of a Byzantine church from the 5th to 6th century and a Crusader church from the 12th century, which was built in honor of Tancred, Prince of Galilee and to commemorate the New Testament story from St. Matthew 17:1-9, where Jesus was recognized as the Son of God in the company of Moses, Elijah and three of His disciples: Saints Peter, James and John.

178 transfiguration church01
The Transfiguration Church (St. John Church) – Mount Tabor
179 inside tranfiguration church01
Inside the Transfiguration Church

 

181 inside transfiguration church02
Inside the Transfiguration Church (The Altar)

180 transfiguration church02

184 fr floro at transfiguration church
Fr. Floro Litigio presider over at Mass in the Transfiguration Church – Mount Tabor

182 inside-rock of transfiguration

186 inside transfiguration church
After the Mass at Transfiguration Church

185 during comunion at transfiguration st. james churc
During Communion at Mass in Transfiguration (St. James) Church – Mount Tabor
187 Transfiguration Church altar
After the Mass at Transfiguration Church

188 Transfiguration Church altar
Me and Fr. Ramil Poquita CP after the Mass at the Transfiguration Church
 189 at Transfiguration Church entrance gate190 at Transfiguration Church entrance gate

In the two bell towers on either side of the entrance to the Church of Transfiguration, there are two chapels. The northern chapel is dedicated to Moses and it contains an image of him getting the Tablets of Stone on Mt. Sinai, and the southern chapel is dedicated to Elijah the prophet and it contains an image of him in his confrontation with the Ba’al prophets in Keren-Hakarmel. On the upper part of the church, above the altar, there is a mosaic which depicts the Transfiguration.

After the Mass at Mount Tabor, we had our picture taking, left the place at around 3:42PM and headed towards the City of Nazareth. Nazareth is the capital and largest city in the North District of Israel. According to the Gospel of Luke, Nazareth was the home of Saint Joseph and Virgin Mary. This is the site of the Annunciation when Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would have Jesus as her Son: “And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God,’” (Lk 1:35). In the Gospel of St. Matthew as well as in the Gospel of St. Luke (2:39-40), St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary resettled in Nazareth after fleeing to Egypt from their home in Bethlehem. Nazareth was also the town where Jesus lived as a child (Matthew 2:23). We had the privilege too to pray in the Basilica of Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38), especially at the grotto where the annunciation took place. We visited the Byzantine Church of St. Joseph as well and Mary’s Well which is most probably marks the place where Mary drew water for the Holy Family. We arrived in Basilica of the Annunciation at 4:35pm.

dome of basilica of the annunciation nazareth
The Dome of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth
basilica03
The Front of the Basilica of the Annunciation

 

193 basilica door

 

194 annunciation grotto
The grotto inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where Angel announced to Virgin Mary that she would bear a Son
196 basil8ca inside03 word made flesh grotto
The grotto inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where Angel announced to Virgin Mary that she would bear a Son (The Word made flesh and became Emmanuel)

 

195 basilica inside02
The Altar inside the Basilica of the Annunciation in front of the grotto of the Annunciation
197 basilica inside
The Dome inside the Basilica of the Annunciation – Nazareth

 

198 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Me, Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth
199 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth

 

200 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth
202 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth

 

201 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Me, Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth
203 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Me, Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth

 

206 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth
207 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth

 

208 Inside Annunciation Basilica Nazareth
Inside Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth
209 Going to nearby St. Joseph Church
a Post in Going to nearby St. Joseph Church from the Basilica of the Annunciation

 

210 Under the St. Joseph Church
A Ruin below the St. Joseph Church
211 Under the St. Joseph Church
An Altar below the St. Joseph Church

 

212 Dome of Annunciation Basilica
The Dome of Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth
213 At the Entrance of Annunciation Basilica
At the Entrance of Annunciation Basilica – Nazareth, donated by the Philippines

 

After our visit to the Basilica and the Church of St. Joseph, we drove to Rimonim Mineral Hotel, Tiberias and checked in. Tiberias is a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was established by Herod Antipas last 20 AD and named in honor of Emperor Tiberias. Tiberias has been considered one of the Judaism’s Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed. According to Christian tradition, Jesus performed several miracles in the Tiberias area, making it an important pilgrimage for us Christians. The city is a major resort area today, famous for its hot spring and is the capital now of Galilee area. We had our dinner at the Hotel and accommodation.

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