Sunday, September 16, 2012

I woke up a little after 4:00 AM and thought, “Why lay awake when I can explore the holy sites of Jerusalem before the sun comes up and see the sun rise over the city?”

So, I jumped up, dressed, put on my running shoes and took off. I planned this out as if it was a tour and I am leading you through these sites. I have 71 pictures and 18 videos along with an interactive map.

Church of Agony in Garden of Gethsemane

Passing over Mount Zion I point out the biblical sites. Past the Dung Gate and the Western Wall I go through the Kidron Valley and along the Garden of Gethsemane up to the top of the Mount of Olives for a stunning view of Jerusalem with only its own lights and gradually lit by the golden morning sun.

Next we enter St. Stephen’s Gate to follow the Stations of the Cross – the Via Dolorosa before arriving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here we join a Mass on Calvary for a few minutes, touch the top of Calvary and go down to the tomb of Christ for a few moments of the Franciscan High Mass. 

Around the Old City and out New Gate to see the beautiful Damascus Gate, the Church of St. Stephen which commemorates the location of the death of the first martyr. I explain a bit of the fake called the Garden Tomb as we go by and arrive back at the Notre Dame. 

I hope you enjoy the tour with pictures of people, places and things :-)

To join the adventure, click here or on the map below.

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Day Six Part 1: Jericho, Dead Sea, Camels & more

by Steve Ray on September 16, 2012

Day 6, Part 1 Breakfast and Mass at Notre Dame, then off to the Israel Museum to walk into first century Jerusalem at the Temple Model before seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book. Then a ride into the Judean Wilderness descending 4,250 feet down from Jerusalem, about 30 miles in distance.

We arrived at the exact place Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. This is the lowest place on the face of the earth. We renewed our baptismal vows in the Jordan.

Next it was lunch in Jericho before seeing the Mount of Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the Devil and a look at a sycamore tree like the one climbed by Zaccheaus (Luke 19:2-10). Blind Bartimaeus was also healed along the road we were driving on (Mark 10:46-52).

Day Six, Part 2: Off to Qumran where we learned about the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the probably membership of John the Baptist and their familiarity with Jesus the Messiah. Floating in the Dead Sea is always a wonderful experience and so is riding a camel. We have lots of good videos and pictures of both. Enjoy.

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