The pilgrims continued their journey walking with Jesus by starting the third day of their stay in Jerusalem with the Mount of Olives. There, they prayed the Our Father together in remembrance of the place where Jesus taught his own disciples this perfect prayer. After a short walk, the pilgrims visited the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed to his Father. It is situated opposite the city of Jerusalem.
Directly beneath Gethsemane is a Jewish cemetery and the surrounding area is filled with olive trees. The pilgrims were able to pray near the rock where Jesus sweat blood and meditate on his acceptance of the will of his Father.
The next stop of the day was the Visitation Church where Mother Mary came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The Church sits atop a hill overlooking the valley. The walk up to the Visitation Church is a steep one. Thankfully, it has been paved and steps were put in to make the climb less of a struggle for visiting pilgrims. After praying in the church and offering their intentions to Our Lady, the pilgrims headed to the Shepherd’s Field where they enjoyed an authentic Mediterranean lunch.
After lunch, they were able to visit the very place where the angels appeared to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born. There, the pilgrims prayed the Joyful Mysteries, meditating on the scriptural passages that accompany the mysteries and listening to short reflections.
The final stop of the day was the Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in the world dating back to the 4th century. Here, the pilgrims were able to see where Jesus was born and kiss the ground where their Savior was laid in a manger. It has been a true blessing to be able to visit the places where Our Lord lived and have the Scriptures come more and more to life with every place we visit.