Holy Land Pilgrimage with Father Mario DiCicco -- Sept. 2-13, 2023

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Once again, we are going up Jerusalem, called by the psalmist the City of God! It is a city rich in history, richer still in God's marvelous deeds. It is a city where Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed the saving message of God's kingdom and exercised his healing ministry of God's love. It is there that he died for love of us, only to be raised up in that same city by God in a mighty act of power. Jerusalem, now more than ever, is truly the City of God, for it was within her walls that the Church of Jesus Christ came to birth in the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

I will be making my usual pilgrimage to the Holy Land, appropriately called the Fifth Gospel, to retrace the steps Jesus took in obedience to God's will and out of love for us all. It is a moment of grace for all of us to visit the scenes of our salvation. I invite you to come along with me to share this deeply moving experience of faith. This pilgrimage will truly enrich your faith, deepen your knowledge of Holy Scripture, and increase your love for Jesus the Lord.

You are going on a pilgrimage, a special form of spiritual retreat, a religious event in one's life where the Gospel, read at the sites of its first utterance, takes on a new significant meaning for one who is open to the Holy Spirit. It is not a sightseeing trip or a vacation tour, but it is a journey that has faith as its motive and goal, reflecting the pilgrimage of one's life toward God.

We will also visit Petra, the famous Rose Colored City celebrated for its unique carvings in the rock, as well as Mt. Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land, plus the Site of the Baptism of Jesus and Jerash, the great Greco-Roman city, and the well-known Madaba Map.

I am an experienced Holy Land pilgrim guide. I have lived in the Holy Land and I have conducted pilgrimages continuously each year since 1976. I have a doctorate in New Testament and have taught at three graduate theological schools. For these reasons, you can be assured of a deeply biblical and prayerful first-class experience.

Father Mario DiCicco is a Franciscan priest who has been leading pilgrims to the Holy Land continuously for the past 42 years. He holds a PhD in New Testament and has lived in the Holy Land with the Franciscans who have been official custodians of the Holy Land since 1335.

Father Mario also has experience in guiding pilgrims to Turkey, cradle of earliest Christianity, and to other religious and cultural sites such as Rome, Assisi, Sicily, Fatima, Lourdes, St. James of Compostela, Montserrat, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Father Mario is currently full-time on the staff of St. Peter's Church in the Loop in Chicago. He operates his pilgrimages through Santours, Inc. in Oakland, California (#2092786-40). Visit frmariotours.weebly.com.