Guide for pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Benefits of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the CARF Foundation

A pilgrimage to Holy Land is to open the pages of the "fifth gospel". To travel the roads where Jesus walked, to go to the places where he performed miracles, and to pray in the places where he carried out the redemption of men and his surrender to the extreme out of pure love. These experiences - lived as one more character - stir inside and soften even the hardest heart. The pilgrimage to the Holy Land that organized every year by the CARF Foundation facilitates openness to the Life that is poured out in the places where the Son of God lived. Throughout the trip, a priest accompanies us, provides spiritual care and celebrates Holy Mass daily. In addition, we select the guides who help us to achieve a full understanding of the holy places. It is also about a comfortable trip that facilitates contemplation and not having to be aware of other operational details, so we have full board in a four-star hotel and permanent transportation at our disposal. 

Four must-see places in the Holy Land  

Discover these four must-see places on your pilgrimage to the Holy Land which, of course, are included in the CARF Foundation itinerary.

1. Sea of Galilee 

Also known as Lake Tiberias, a freshwater lake fed by the Jordan River. It was the place where Simon, Andrew and their companions worked. It was the scene of numerous miracles of Jesus, such as walking on its waters or the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land you can enjoy a boat ride on its calm waters and explore the towns and villages on the shores of the lake, such as Tiberias or Capernaum. 

2. The Basilica of the Nativity

Located in the city of Bethlehem, whose name means "house of bread", the basilica of the Nativity is one of the most sacred sites of Christianity. It was built over the birthplace of Jesus. Its impressive architecture combines Byzantine and Crusader elements. The highlight is the grotto of the Nativity, where tradition places the exact spot where Mary gave birth to Jesus.

Despite invasions, earthquakes and restorations throughout its history, much of the original structure built in the 4th century still stands. One of the most curious aspects of the building is the so-called Door of Humility, a small entrance through which visitors must shrink to enter. It is said that this gate was built to prevent people on horseback from passing through without dismounting, recalling the humility that characterized the birth of Jesus in a stable. This gate also has a deeper meaning as a reminder that all who enter God's presence must do so with a humble heart.

pilgrimage to the holy land

3. Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem

The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem was built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century A.D. on the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been crucified, buried and resurrected. Over the centuries, it has suffered damages, reconstructions and divisions among the different Christian denominations. Today, it is guarded by several Christian denominations, mainly the Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Roman Catholic Church - through the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land - who share the responsibility of maintaining and administering the site. The Holy Sepulchre is located in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a complex that includes:

El Santo Edicule: This small structure houses the tomb of Jesus, the only empty tomb in history. This is the place where Jesus was resurrected.

The chapel of Calvary or Golgotha: In the same church is the site traditionally identified as Mount Calvary or Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. Pilgrims can see a crack in the rock that is believed to have formed during the earthquake that occurred at the time of Jesus' death.

The Angel Chapel: In the vestibule of the Edicule there is a chapel dedicated to the Angel who announced the Resurrection to the women who visited the tomb.

The Chapel of St. HelenaIn the complex, there is also the Chapel of St. Helena, a 12th century Armenian church dedicated to the mother of Emperor Constantine, who is believed to have found the cross of Christ in Jerusalem.

The Chapel of the Invention of the Cross: This is the deepest point of the Holy Sepulcher. It is the place where St. Helena discovered the Veracruz, the nails, and the titulus of the Crucifixion. After the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70, the emperor Hadrian erected a temple to Jupiter on the site, thanks to which St. Helena, mother of another emperor - Constantine - knew the exact location of the relics.

4. Cenacle, Jerusalem

In the Upper Room, on Mount Zion, is where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper, when he instituted the Eucharist and washed the feet of his disciples.

It is a room about 15 meters long and 10 meters wide, practically empty of ornaments and furnishings. Several pilasters on the walls and two columns in the center, with reused ancient capitals, support a vaulted ceiling. In the keystones there are remains of reliefs with figures of animals, in particular, a lamb can be recognized. 

At present, it is not possible to worship in the Cenacle, because Jewish tradition places the tomb of King David, a sacred place for the Jews, in the same place. Only two popes have enjoyed the privilege of celebrating Holy Mass in this room: St. John Paul II, on March 23, 2000, and Francis, on May 26, 2014. On our pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Mass is celebrated in a chapel nearby known as the Cenacolino.

How much does a pilgrimage to the Holy Land cost?

The cost of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land can vary greatly depending on factors such as the length of the trip, the quality of the type of accommodation or the number of activities you do. The pilgrimage to Holy Land with the CARF Foundation takes care of all logistical details. 

We travel with the help of Halcón Peregrinaciones, a well-known travel agency, which has preferential agreements with hotels and tourism service providers, allowing us to obtain very reasonable rates.

We also have a planned and optimized itinerary, in terms of time and distance, which allows us to reduce the costs associated with travel and accommodation changes that you would otherwise have.

Therefore, although an organized pilgrimage to the Holy Land may involve an initial cost, the efficiency and additional benefits make it a reasonable expense. In addition, the comfort and enriching experience provided by this type of experience makes it worth the price.

How many days are needed to visit the Holy Land?

The pilgrimage to the Holy Land organized by the CARF Foundation lasts eight days, enough time to explore and see the most important sites. 

It is organized to make the most of every second, with plenty of time for contemplation, meditation and prayer at the sacred sites.

What not to miss on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land?

On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land you cannot miss the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of Palestine and Israel. You can participate in religious devotions and ceremonies at the holy sites of Jerusalem, where the Christian faith is embedded in the history of mankind. 

Exploring the traditional markets and savoring the local cuisine will give you a glimpse into daily life in this very special region of the world. And it allows you to take the opportunity to meet people of diverse religious traditions and hear their personal stories of faith and convictions on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land.