Healthy lungs are important to maintain healthy life as lungs help in the exchange of gases as well as in the body's acquisition of pure oxygen that helps maintain healthy parts of the body. In this context, two healthy lungs simply imply a healthy life.
This was expressed by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa--as he brought the good news in a recent interview with Vatican Radio marking the start of the return of normalcy to the Holy Land and the resuscitation of the badly damaged economies in Bethlehem and Jerusalem by the restoration of pilgrimage to the Holy sites--when he said: "The return of pilgrims means for Jerusalem to breathe with two lungs again". This statement is an expression of perspicacity and wisdom as it unveils that what lies ahead is a flowery and a promising future for the Holy Land Christians.
In this context, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has announced a pilgrimage plan to the Holy Land to take place from Friday, November 12 to Saturday, November 20, 2021.
This pilgrimage trip will provide a wonderful opportunity to pilgrims to walk in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace, Lord Jesus Christ, by visiting the Holy sites, by having a close view of ACN projects in the region, as well as by meeting with local Church leaders and Christian families, in addition to getting a clear image of the situation experienced by the Christians living in the Holy Land. The pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Dominic Robinson SJ, ACN UK’s National Ecclesiastical Assistant; and Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director of ACN UK.
The nine-day itinerary will take the pilgrims to important sites that have religious and historical significance, namely Bethlehem, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the Old City of Jerusalem, Qumran, the Dead Sea, the Galilee, Cana, Nazareth, and Tiberius.
The itinerary includes attending a Holy Mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, as well as visiting the Manger Square, the Basilica and the Cave of the Nativity, the Latin Patriarchal Seminary in Beit Jala. It also includes attending a Holy Mass at the Big Grotto (1st Altar) at Beit Sahour in the Shepherds’ Fields, visiting the Syrian Orthodox Church in Bethlehem, travelling to the birthplace of John the Baptist in Ein Karem, and having a panoramic view over ancient and modern Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the pilgrims will visit St. Anne’s Church and the Pool of Bethesda, the Church of All Nations, the Garden of Gethsemane and Mary’s Tomb, the Church of the Ascension, and the Church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem.
Further trips include a short journey on the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Tabgha (Lord Jesus' miracle of the five loaves and two fish), Mount Tabor, the Mount of Transfiguration, and Cana including the Church dedicated to Jesus’ first miracle, the Basilica of Annunciation, the house of St. Joseph and Mary’s Well in Nazareth.
This planned pilgrimage trip to the Holy Land will mark the continued resuscitation of the sector of tourism and the everlasting radiation of Lord Jesus love over the land where He was born lived, and shed His precious blood to cleanse the world of its sins. Actually, the return of pilgrims means for the Holy Land to breathe with two lungs again.
May this proposed nine-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land serve as a means to further shove the Holy Land in particular, and the Middle East in general, into a new era of prosperity, progress, and peace leading to the entrenchment of common living and harmony.