Christians in the Holy Land have recently completed a special week (January 19-27) of prayer for unity among the Christians in the Holy Land, which takes place annually at the end of January. Christians belonging to various communities congregated each day of the week at a church of a different denomination and prayed together. Information with a list of the churches that participated is available at the Christian Information Center, near Jaffa Gate in the Old City. The services were generally held each afternoon for one hour and were followed by a reception.
With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, "Porta Fidei," Pope Benedict XVI declared that a “Year of Faith” would begin October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. The Pope was referring to the Book of Acts, “…they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith…” (Acts 14:27). The current Year of Faith is an opportunity for all Catholics to rediscover a journey of faith.
This is our final day, and some of the most fascinating sites and views are ahead of us.
The Gospel Trail is the perfect pilgrimage for those who truly want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The trail is 62km (38.5 miles) long and was opened in 2011. It allows you to tangibly experience the biblical landscape and the spirituality of the Holy Land. The trail begins in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, and is believed to be the route Jesus walked on his journey to the Sea of Galilee.
The first day begins at the starting point on Mount Precipice, also known as the Mount of the Leap of the Lord, a site that has been identified with the passage in Luke 4:29-31.
A pilgrimage in the footsteps of Mary is a deeply personal spiritual experience that takes you straight into the heart of the gospel to acquaint you with the mother of Jesus and allow you to discover the divine mysteries. Gaining in-depth personal insights about Mary perfectly rounds out the gospels, and when equipped with a better understanding of the Mother, you will gain even more profound knowledge of the son.
With Easter behind them, Catholics worldwide are preparing for Pentecost, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (Acts 2, 1-4). In Jerusalem the feast is celebrated at Hagia Maria Sion Abbey on Mount Zion. Its unique blue conical roof, four ornamented towers and landmark clock tower make it an architectural gem. The basilica is a German Benedictine church completed in 1910 and built over the ruins of a Byzantine church, the Hagia Sion basilica and a 12th century Crusader church - Santa Maria in Monte Sion.
The period of Lent is drawing to a close, and both the local Christians and thousands of pilgrims who have come to the Holy City are getting ready to celebrate Holy Week and its culmination on Easter Sunday – the most important time of the Christian liturgical year.
There is nothing like experiencing Holy Week in Jerusalem. Celebrating the greatest events of salvation history and of Jesus’ life at the very sites where they occurred is a moving and unforgettable experience of faith for all believers.
What did Jerusalem look like when Jesus was alive?