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.
Mary called on Jesus to take action in Cana (John 2: 1-11) - she asks him to perform the first miracle. Mary also helps believers understand the mysteries of the gospel through the rosary prayers.
Christian tradition maintains that Mary was born "without sin" in Jerusalem, in her home near the Holy Temple. Her mother, Anne, and father, Joachim, were righteous, and their prayers for a child were answered by the Lord. Mary was dedicated to the Temple from an early age and spun thread on a spindle there. At the age of 12, when she left the Temple, she was betrothed to Joseph, her new patron.
The New Testament relates that the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus: "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with thee" (Luke, 1:26). Mary brought Jesus to the Temple to present him to the Lord and heard the prophecy of Simeon regarding the pain and suffering she would experience throughout her life as the mother of Jesus - "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:35). Mary accompanies Jesus on his final path to the cross, and looks at her son after he is taken down from the cross.
Even following the crucifixion, Mary continued to play a formative role in guiding the disciples. As her life drew to an end, she fell into sleep and her body and soul were collected by Jesus and she returned to her son, to sit beside him in heaven.
Paying homage to Mary, churches were built and dedicated to her in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Haifa and at other sites as well. Local Christian communities celebrate these festivals of Mary:
December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Church of St. Anne, Jerusalem.
March 25 - Feast of the Annunciation - Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth.
May 31 - Feast of the Visitation - Church of the Visitation - Ein Kerem, Jerusalem
August 15 - Feast of the Assumption - Hagia Maria Sion Abbey, Jerusalem
September 8 - Nativity of Mary - Church of St. Anne, Jerusalem
A pilgrimage in the footsteps of Mary is a deeply personal spiritual experience that takes you straight into the heart of the gospel - come visit the holiest sites in Jerusalem: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Hagia Maria Sion Abbey, Tomb of the Virgin Mary, Church of the Visitation and more. Nazareth: Church of the Annunciation, Mary's Well, Mary of Nazareth Center. Haifa: Stella Maris Church and more.
Visit the holy sites dedicated to the Virgin Mary and partake in the holidays in her honor in the Holy Land.
For additional information: http://holyland-pilgrimage.org/holy-land-pilgrimage-footsteps-virgin-mary