It was a rich day, very full. It started with a wake-up call at 4:15 so we could leave at 4:45. Everyone thanked us later :-)
The streets of Jerusalem are like a huge flea market with all the crowds and hustle and bustle. Sometimes you can hardly move. It is much better to pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa when the streets are abandoned. We arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while it is still empty (during the day it is wall-to-wall people).
We arrived to have Mass at the top of Calvary. When finished I checked the Franciscans and the group that was scheduled to have Mass in the Tomb of Christ never showed up so we got the slot and our whole group had Mass INSIDE the Tomb of Christ. Everyone touched the stone and prayed.
Our group picture was next on our way back to the Notre Dame for breakfast. After re-couping from the early morning start we visited St. Ann’s which is the birthplace of Mary and the location of the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus cured a crippled man.
Then to the Western Wall to pray and learn the history and biblical significance of this site, the most holy for Jews in the world.
The Holy Shroud Exhibit is not to be missed then free time in the afternoon, a personal meeting with the Bishop of Jerusalem, confession available and a free evening.
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Part I: Via Dolorosa, Mass at Calvary, Mass at the Tomb
Part II: All the other Great Events of the Day