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 ISRAEL - Holy Land - Pilgrimage
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From here Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem
PATERNOSTER CHURCH
 DOME OF THE ASCENSION
DOMINUS FLEVIT CHAPEL
Graves in Kidron Valley
GOLDEN GATE
GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
 BASILICA OF AGONY - Inside
TOMB OF THE VIRGIN MARY
 BASILICA OF AGONY - Outside
The Bible says: "On the morrow a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel. And Jesus, having found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written…"
(John 14: 12-14)
We woke up early like always but very excited that morning because this was the day when would visit JERUSALEM.
After breakfast we headed towards the MOUNT OF OLIVES and visited a small church behind a huge wall that commemorates the place where the disciples brought the donkey on which Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Since Mount of Olives is completely walkable we walked from one famous site to another.
The Bible says: "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: "Our Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation."
(Luke 11:1-4)
Our second stop was PATERNOSTER CHURCH, a place where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer. The present day church was built in the 19th century on the remains of a 14th century Crusader's church which was built on the remains of an early 4th century church that was constructed by St. Helen, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine.
Its focal point is the cloister,
decorated with tiled panels
of the Lord's Prayer
in 62 languages where we
looked and found ours.
I have to mention the
beautiful courtyard that
is surrounded by pillars
and arches in the
neo-gothic style and is
full of gorgeous roses.
PATERNOSTER CHURCH
The Bible says: "When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."
(Luke 24:50-51)
Our next stop was a Mosque or DOME OF THE ASCENSION which is sacred to Christians and Muslims as a site of Jesus' ascension into heaven. It contains what is traditionally believed to be the last footprint of Jesus on earth. We actually did not go inside because of the long line but enjoyed the small chapel that was taken over, after the fall of the Crusader kingdom, by Salah al-Din (also known as Saladin) in the 12th century and transformed from a Christian church into a mosque.
The Bible says: "And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."
(Luke 19: 41-42)
From the Dome of the Ascension we walked downhill towards the DOMINUS FLEVIT CHAPEL which must be one of the most interesting walks in Israel. First you walk by row after row of graves that are a part of Jewish cemeteries and closely guarded by the Israeli military. There are also Muslim and Christian cemeteries close by because KIDRON VALLEY is believed to be the ancient VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT, where, according to the Bible, mankind will be resurrected on Judgment day - so it is very popular to be buried there and a burial plot could cost you $50,000 or more.
From there we went downhill, passing more graves and thick walls, while watching Jerusalem right in front of us. They told us the legend about the GOLDEN GATE (the wall that surrounds Jerusalem has 11 gates - seven are open at this time) which is facing the Mount of Olives. The Jewish tradition says that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem through this door, so the Muslims sealed it, at the beginning of the 17th century, to keep him out. Then they built the cemetery in front of it in order to keep his predecessor Elijah out too. Elijah as a Kohen (direct male descendant of the Biblical Aron - Jewish priest), they believed, was not suppose to cross the cemetery according to the Jewish law. It turns out, they overlooked, that Kohens really cannot cross the Jewish cemetery but have absolutely no problem crossing the cemeteries where non-Jews are buried.
DOMINUS FLEVIT CHAPEL
As you continue waking you are soon rewarded with the best views of the old part of Jerusalem. A little further down the road you are going to find the Dominus Flevit Chapel where Jesus sat when he wept over the fate of Jerusalem.
DOME OF THE ASCENSION
GOLDEN GATE
Soon we found ourselves in the GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE which is right next to the BASILICA OF AGONY. Old olive trees have roots that are believed to be two thousand years old and therefore the witness to Jesus' emotional suffering and betrayal.

The Basilica of Agony is beautiful but very dark and was designed by Antonio Berluzzi in 1924 to remind us of the night when Christ was put into the hands of his executors. 12 nations helped to build it so it is also called the Church of the Nations. And this is where we had our daily mass.

We visited the
TOMB OF THE VIRGIN MARY, which is close by, afterwards. It is a sacred place for Christians and Muslims alike. Than it was time for lunch.
TOMB OF THE VIRGIN MARY
GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
BASILICA OF AGONY
BASILICA OF AGONY