Shalom Life | July 24, 2014

Israel Woos Tourists With Virgin Mary Sites

A new tourism pilgrimage traces the footsteps of the Virgin Mary

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: January 18th, 2011 in News » Israel

Israel Woos Tourists With Virgin Mary Sites

In 2010, 69% of Israel's almost 3.5 million tourists were Christians -mostly Catholic pilgrims. Now Israeli Tourism Ministry officials have released a pilgrimage itinerary that traces the footsteps of the Virgin Mary.

"The Holy Land is the homeland of the Virgin Mary, where all the important events in her life took place, and it is only natural to follow a pilgrimage itinerary in her footsteps," said Noaz Bar-Nir, director-general of the Ministry of Tourism.

The itinerary includes sites where the faithful believe the Virgin Mary lived and traveled, including her birthplace near Nazareth in northern Israel, as well as Mary's Spring, and the Tomb of the Virgin near Jerusalem.

Israel has long provided pilgrimages for Christians to travel in the footsteps of Jesus, from the sites of his crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem, to the Sea of Galilee, where the faithful believed he walked on water. Working with Palestinians, Israel also facilitates visits to the West Bank village of Bethlehem, purported to be Jesus’ birthplace.

"The Christian world looks to the Holy Land as an important reference point for their faith and life. A pilgrimage to the Holy Land - which should be taken at least once in a lifetime - can change one's life, as it offers the opportunity to perceive, touch, see and connect to the Bible. For us Christians, the Holy Land is the physical connection with the life of Jesus. But we cannot talk about the life of Jesus without talking about his mother, the Holy Virgin." stated Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Roman Catholic Church's custodian of the Holy Land.

Jon Stewart Parodies His Critics for Calling Him “Pro-Hamas” [VIDEO] Jon Stewart Parodies His Critics for Calling Him “Pro-Hamas” [VIDEO] TrendingBelgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign Belgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign TrendingHoward Stern Goes On Pro-Israel Rant [VIDEO] Howard Stern Goes On Pro-Israel Rant [VIDEO] Trending
 

Israeli Women Bare All to Support the IDF

July 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Women Bare All to Support the IDF

New Facebook page "Standing With the IDF - Maintaining a Protective Edge" is a way to boost morale

Read More

Reuven Rivlin Sworn in as President of Israel

July 24, 2014 | By Moran Azulay, Itamar Eichner
Reuven Rivlin Sworn in as President of Israel

Former Likud MK and Knesset Speaker vows his door will be open to all Israelis

Read More

Michael Bloomberg Receives Warm Welcome After El Al Flight of Solidarity

July 24, 2014 | By Shaleni McBain
Michael Bloomberg Receives Warm Welcome After El Al Flight of Solidarity

The former New York mayor has applauded the FAA's decision to resume flights to Israel

Read More

Trending: #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

July 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Trending: #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

The latest Twitter trend promotes peace and love between Jews, Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians

Read More

Anti-Israel Protesters Attack Maccabi Haifa Players in Austria

July 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Anti-Israel Protesters Attack Maccabi Haifa Players in Austria

During the Israeli squad's training match against Lille, pro-Palestinian demonstrators invaded the field

Read More

Senior Hamas Officials Are Living the Good Life

July 24, 2014 | By Roi Kais
Senior Hamas Officials Are Living the Good Life

Hamas leaders enjoy private jets, restaurants and luxury hotels as Gazans suffer

Read More

Shaw Festival Review: THE SEA

July 23, 2014 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review: THE SEA

The Sea is a well acted, interesting play that at times tries too hard to make a point we know all too well.

Read More

Billy Joel To Be Honored With Gershwin Prize By Library Of Congress

July 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Billy Joel To Be Honored With Gershwin Prize By Library Of Congress

The 'Piano Man' will receive the prize in Washington this November.

Read More

More Headlines