Videos for Day Five have been moved to my Pilgrimage website — click here
Day Five was a great day. We started out with a High Mass at and in the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
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After breakfast we drove to Bethlehem where the pilgrims shopped in the finest shops and toured the olive wood factory. Then we went to Shepherd's Field where the angels appeared to the shephers announcing the birth of the Lamb of God. We went into the caves and sang Christmas songs — Merry Christmas!
For lunch we have fast food Bethlehem-style with a choice of falafil pita sandwiches or turkey schwarma — both much healthier than McDonalds! Then we went to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. We touched the place where he was born and the spot where he was placed in the manger. We also sang in the Church of St. Catherine where the Christmas Mass is broadcast on TV from Bethlehem on Christmas eve.
Since St. Jerome is the Patron Saint of Catholic Scripture Study International, and that is the group that we are on pilgrimage with, we went into the caves below the Church of the Nativity to the tomb of St. Jerome. Gail Buckley, founder and Executive Director of CSS and I had our picture taken together at the Tomb of Jerome. In regard to Scripture study, remember that is was St. Jerome that said, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."
Next we drove to Ein Kerem in the hill country of Judea where Mary walked to visit her relative Elizabeth. There we spent time viewing the beatiful paintings and I gave a talk about the Visitation and the fact that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. I have a lengthy article on that on my website at www.CatholicConvert.com > Resources > Writings > Steve's or click here and scroll down to "Mary, Ark of the New Covenant."
We then got fresh squeezed juice at the sidewalk juice bar in Ein Kerem and drove back to the Notre Dame Center for some free time and dinner. The evening was free. Tomorrow we visit the sites on the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion.