Stories from The Holy Land
In the era of massive tourism, we are used to pilgrimages in which we reach the Holy Land by plane, travel around it inside an air-conditioned bus, stay in friendly hotels and eat in restaurants. But have you ever wondered how pilgrimages were back in time?
Emmaus Trail, a Guidebook has been finally published. We hope that many pilgrims and hikers will enjoy the experience of discovering all the historical, archaeological and biblical sites that can be found along the way.
It happened one more year: Holy Week gave way to Easter in Jerusalem, where the events of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus took place.
The Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land were at Saxum Visitor Center as part of their second day of plenary assembly, in which they visited the Christian places in Abu Ghosh.
On Monday, April 25, Saxum Visitor Center will host an event under the title Graphics: a way to discover the Holy Land. This conference will discuss how visual journalism tried to explain the most important site for Christianity: the Holy Sepulchre.
This video is a glimpse of last year’s Holy Week in Jerusalem. We hope that many pilgrims will come and live the experience.
More than 10,000 kilometers separate Rio de Janeiro from Jerusalem.This is the distance that Raul traveled to make one of those life-changing trips: a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Marion Barot enjoys getting to know new countries and people. For this reason, her first trip to the Holy Land in 2017, of just six days, was not enough for her. She fell in love with the experience and came back again for three weeks.
“It’s amazing; everyone should come. You are walking and seeing the Gospel with your own eyes.” Amparo, of Valencia, Spain, is among the first to visit the Holy Land since the pandemic, thanks to the lifting of travel restrictions to the country.
In this painting of imposing magnitude, the viewer enters the scene from behind the disciples and sees Jesus in profile. All gazes – of surprise and amazement – are directed towards him. It is dusk in Jerusalem and the first star has arisen.
The annual congress of the Israeli Antiquities Department took place at Saxum Visitor Center’s conference hall on August 5th. It was the fifth edition of the Judean Hills Archaeology, Environment and Community Congress.
This church dates back to the 12th century, the times of the First Crusade. It is shared by the Orthodox Eastern Churches and contains the place where tradition says the body of Mary was laid before being taken to Heaven.
This unexpected spring oasis in the middle of the Mount of Olives is the convent of Saint Mary Magdalene, home to nuns of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Yesterday morning, Wednesday June 9, a forest fire broke out in Mount Har Haruah, an area close to Saxum.
The feast of the Invention of the Cross and the feast of Saint Helena are celebrated in May and commemorate the finding of the most precious relic of Christianity.
“Things, as they have been running until today, shall remain as at present, pending a final agreement.” This was the declaration made in 1852 that established what was shortly after called the Status Quo.
Nazareth. A young man meets a young woman. After seeing each other only two more times, he proposes, feeling strongly that it is the will of God.
The snow storm that had covered Athens arrived in Jerusalem a couple of days later. Although not as heavy as the Greek one, it left a beautiful white picture of the Holy City and its surroundings.
One year ago, when we first started to hear about the coronavirus spreading from China, we were immersed in preparations for the third Holy Land Dialogues (HLD). HLD is a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that combines spiritual and academic elements with participants from around the world.
Pope Francis has dedicated this year 2021 to Saint Joseph, father of Jesus and husband of Mary. So let’s explore the different Holy Land sites where we find his footprints.
The Holy Sepulchre is probably the most fascinating site of the Holy Land. However, many tourists and pilgrims get the impression of a very chaotic and crowded place, with people shouting, pushing, and where it is difficult to find a moment of silence to meditate.
My name is Alejandra Hernández. I’m from Guatemala. This adventure began for me in November 2019 and I was really excited about it. At first I wasn’t able to foresee the size of all what was awaiting me.
During the next few weeks, the Jews will be celebrating some of the most important holidays in their calendar. Starting with the sunset of September 18 (Tishrei 1 in the Jewish calendar), they will welcome Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Yet another biblical story on Mount Tabor… The first major event in the history of the Bible which took place in the surroundings of Mount Tabor was the victory of Deborah and Barak in their battle against the Canaanites.
Travelling is not that easy this summer due to the pandemic restrictions. Therefore, local tourism has boosted. Israel has not been an exception and this situation has strengthened the trend of Israelis visiting the Christian sites in their country.
Wednesday June 10, Saxum Visitor Center staff received a group of tour guides after reopening of museums and similar institutions in Israel was allowed.
Shavuot is the Jewish feast day which commemorates that God gave the Ten Commandments of the Law to Moses in Mount Sinai, after the people of Israel fled from Egypt.
Everything has changed since the tourists left and it was closed due to the coronavirus. The square is usually empty except for a few people praying before the doors or a neighbour passing by.
When Jesus appeared to the women, he told them: “Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee”. That is why we find Peter and the others fishing in the lake as they used to do before.
Ten days after I arrived in Israel, I found myself singing “Hosanna”, along with thousands of Christians, in the ancient village of Bethphage. In Bethphage, there is a church that commemorates the place where Jesus found the donkey he would ride into Jerusalem.
In this year’s Holy Land Dialogues (HLD), after popular request, participants were able to hear about the Holy Land from those who know it best: entrepreneurs, journalists, activists, and scholars who live here. These sessions took place after dinner, after a day of visiting sites.
As part of Saxum Foundation’s annual pilgrimage, “Holy Land Dialogues”, pilgrims spend time each week thinking about a topic related to dialogue in the Holy Land and wherever they live. This year’s topic was forgiveness, and February 26 found the participants at the Notre Dame Center of Jerusalem, taking a break from visiting Holy Sites to listen to lectures on the topic.
On July 6, Saxum received a special visit from Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli. Archbishop Girelli is the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and the Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine. The Nuncio is the diplomatic representative of the Holy See and serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Church in that particular nation.
On Friday, March 29, Saxum hosted its second course for tour guides, this time about the recently restored frescoes on Calvary, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
This April, Saxum Visitor Center was thrilled to be able to fulfill one of its longtime goals: to host a course for tour guides as part of the continuing education program of the Ministry of Tourism.
Last month Friends of Saxum Italy took part in the 9th annual Jerusalem Marathon as part of their pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
On March 1, 2019, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, blessed the facilities of Saxum Visitor Center. Msgr. Mariano Fazio, the vicar general of Opus Dei, was present, in addition to many local Christians and members of religious communities.
Last week our Communications Director, Gabriela, was interviewed by the Arabic-language magazine of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. This was the first ever interview in Arabic about the multimedia tour at the Saxum Visitor Center.
Last week the Saxum Visitor Center had the opportunity to take part in IMTM 2019, the 25th annual international tourism exhibition, held in Tel Aviv.
For the first time, a group of Saxum Advisors from around the world met at Saxum to brainstorm on how best to bring the Holy Land closer to their own countries.
On Thursday, February 7, 2019, the Saxum Visitor Center in Abu Ghosh officially opened. Yariv Levin, the Minister of Tourism of Israel, and Msgr. Giacinto Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem were present, in addition to around 130 participants.
This month Saxum traveled to Portugal to present the Visitor Center to Portuguese travel agencies.
This past Wednesday, December 19, members of Saxum’s staff attended Israel’s Ministry of Tourism yearly Christmas party, in which the Minister of Tourism (Yariv Levin) invites Christian authorities and other who work in Christian tourism industry to a holiday celebration.
Yisca Harani, an expert among Israeli tour guides on the history of Christianity, organized the day’s activities in coordination with Saxum, so that tour guides could also get to know this new tool for learning about the Holy Land them and their groups.
This year, the guest of honor was Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, accompanied by Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, the prelate of Opus Dei.
Last week, on Wednesday, June 6, the Saxum Visitor Center received an important visitor: Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Holy Week and Easter are lived intensely in Jerusalem and “to follow the steps of Christ” has never felt so real.
From February 4th to February 11th, the Holy Land welcomed 200 people from 20 different countries -such as China, Brazil, Ecuador, Singapour, Belgium, Honduras…- to participate in the second Holy Land Dialogues. HLD is an event that combines a pilgrimage with academic lectures that foster intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.
On the evening of Wednesday, February 7, the pilgrims of Holy Land Dialogues gathered in Beit Shmuel once again to listen to another prominent figure speak about Judeo-Christian dialogue: R.R. Reno, the editor of the American journal First Things.
On February 12, the first full day of Holy Land Dialogues, participants gathered in Beit Shmuel to listen to a stirring talk by Melanie Phillips on the need to defend Western values as derived directly from the Bible.
“Saxum is not just a construction project. Saxum is a project of hearts coming together, and that’s what makes it so unique.”
I was in the Holy Land in 2010 on a week long course based in Jerusalem. I therefore knew a little of what to expect, and had of course been to a lot of the Holy Places before. This trip, however, far exceeded my expectations.