Come, Remain, Go Out

Come, Remain, Go Out

In this itinerary we will enter and exit Jordan through the Israeli / Jordanian land border at the Allenby King Hussein Bridge crossing. No flights are required. [1]

Chaplain: Fr Stephen Ellis, L.C.

Escort: Cris Tallent

In the Footsteps of Moses and the Early Christians

Day 1 – Thursday March 28, 2019

Mount Nebo

Once the group from Pilgrimage 1 (already in Jerusalem) and Pilgrimage 2 (arriving from the US) are joined in Jerusalem, we depart for Jordan, crossing the border at the Allenby King Hussain Bridge.  Here we will be met by our local representative who will facilitate Israeli/Jordanian visa and immigration border crossing formalities.   

After crossing into Jordan, we will be met by our Jordanian guide and deluxe motor coach. Our first destination will be Mount Nebo, where Moses stood and viewed the Promised Land.  Since the 3rdcentury the early Christians made this a site of pilgrimage, building a large basilica by the 6thcentury. Although little remains of the original buildings, you can still see today the magnificent Byzantine mosaics from that basilica.  The shrine today is under the auspices of the Franciscan Friars and was renovated in 2016. Schedule permitting, we will have Mass in the restored ancient shrine of “St. Moses.”

We continue on to Madaba, which is an ancient (Medba in Scripture) town in Jordan, southwest of the capital Amman, situated on the ancient King’s Highway trade route.  The height of Madaba’s splendor coincides with the early centuries of the Christian era, when under Byzantine dominion it became the center of a school of mosaics, an industry that still flourishes today.  Madaba had its own bishop, with at least 10 churches, all with impressive Byzantine mosaics.  Today Madaba is best known for its 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which we will visit.  Madaba was destroyed around 746AD by an earthquake, remaining abandoned until 1880 when a group of Christians from Karak fleeing Muslims conflicts, took refuge in the ruins of the ancient town.  They made the amazing discovery in 1884, while removing debris from the ruins of an ancient church where they were trying to build a new one!  

Dinner and overnight will be at the Mosaic City Hotel. 


Day 2 – Friday March 29, 2019

Madaba, Umm ar Rassas 

Continuing in the footsteps of the early Christians, after we conclude our visit to Madaba with Mass at the Shrine of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, we set out to visit Umm ar Rasas, which in ancient times was a Moabite town called Kastron Mefaa. The prophet Jeremiah mentioned the city (as "Mephaath") in his condemnation of Moab (Jeremiah 48:21).   In the 4thcentury, after starting as a Roman garrison town, Umm ar Rasas was converted and became an important ecclesial center.  During the 4-7thcenturies Christian pilgrimage activities intensified, with many traversing the desert in search of sites with scriptural significance, many choosing to settle and stablish monastic communities in these desert outposts.  

Umm ar Rassas was one of these communities, boasting at least 16 Byzantine churches. With the Muslim conquest, many of these outposts were abandoned, incurring tremendous destruction, these towns were lost in time.  Excavations began in 1986 and still ongoing.  In 2004, the site was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, valued by archaeologists for its extensive ruins dating to the Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim periods.  Among the notable finds unearthed at Umm-ar Rasas is the Church of Saint Stephen, which features elaborate and sophisticated mosaics dating from 785AD.

Dinner and overnight will be at the Petra Guest House Hotel. 


Day 3 – Saturday March 30, 2019


In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, we begin our tour of the Rose City of Petra.  Although inhabited since ancient biblical times, it is said that Arab nomadic Bedouin tribes of these lands were descendants of the first born of Ishmael. Their Arabic dialect was written in Arameic!  Petra and the Nabatean civilization flourished from about 6BC to 106AD, they were successful tradesmen, experts in water management and in the carving of magnificent buildings in the red sandstone of the region. Herod Antipas was married to the daughter of the Nabatean king Aretas IV, Phasaelis, whom he divorced in order to marry Herodias!

The Nabateans were conquered by the Romans in 106AD and eventually becoming the capital of the Byzantine province of Palestina Tertia.  Many of the ornate carved tombs were converted into churches as well as the building of several Christian churches, the remnants of 3 which still exist today with their exquisite mosaic floors.  We will visit the ‘Petra Church’ and will try to have Mass there.  Petra went into decline after suffering earth quakes, the shifting of trade routes and by the Muslim conquest.  It was eventually abandoned in the 7thcentury and re-discovered in 1812.  It was declared one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

To enter the city of Petra, we will have the option of walking or riding a horse* to the entrance of the famous Siq, the passageway that cuts through the winding fissure in the canyon that leads to the Rose City. We will explore this amazing wonder throughout the day, learning the importance of the city in the desert, trade, history of the region, (Christians were martyred here during the Diocletian persecution in the 4thcentury), and the fascinating architectural technologies deployed in the city considered avant-garde for the time. 

In the late afternoon, we will head to the Wadi Rum, to begin our adventures in the red desert, where we will spend the night ‘under the starts!  A special aspect of visiting the Wadi Rum is the ability to see a clear sky of stars at night, it’s beauty which can only be fully seen or appreciated by staying overnight in the desert to take in the beauty of the night sky.

As the sun goes down, we need to be on the lookout for the very first star to appear, as the sky darkens the myriad of stars appear – we will be there during a waning moon – which makes for optimal viewing while we listen to Father Stephen preach “Abraham’s Holy Hour” under the stars! 

You might wish to wake up around 3 a.m., when the sky is at its clearest point so you can really soak in the full grandeur of the stars – since sunrise will begin not too long after this, might as well stay up to see this as well and start your morning prayers!

Dinner and overnight will be at the Wadi Rum Camp. 


Day 4 – Sunday March 31, 2019

Wadi Rum and Return to Jerusalem

Wadi Rum is one of Jordan's main tourist attractions being the most stunning desert scape in the world, lying 320 km southwest of Amman 120 km south of Petra and 68 km north of Aqaba. It's uniquely shaped massive mountains rise out of the pink desert sand, which separate one dark mass from another in a magnificent desert scenery of strange breathtaking beauty, with towering cliffs of weathered stone.  After breakfast, we will enjoy an unforgettable jeep tour through the desert as we begin our journey back to Jerusalem, once again crossing into Israel at the Allenby King Hussain Bridge border crossing.

After returning to Jerusalem, Pilgrims from Pilgrimage 1 will be taken to the airport [2] in Tel-Aviv at a designated time transfer for USA departures while the Pilgrims from Pilgrimage 2 will remain to begin their Holy Land Pilgrimage. 


[1] Please note that this program is subject to changes without prior notice to adapt to climate conditions, time limitations, availability or other circumstances. This program is physically demanding.  The visit to Petra requires walking minimum 5-8 miles.  You may ride a horse to the entrance of the park, ride a donkey while in the park, but all visitors must be able to walk through the canyon to enter and exit the Park. A distance of 2 kilometers or 1.5 mile each way. 

[2]   Only one transfer is offered from/to the airport at the time of arrival and departure.  If you are making your own flight plans and they deviate from the arrival and/or departure dates and times stated in the itinerary, you will not be able to receive the transfer service. We can request a transfer service at an extra charge. Jordan extension outgoing flights flights should depart from Tel Aviv no earlier than 10:00 p.m. on March 31, 2019.




Mosaic City Hotel – March 28-29, 2019 (one night)
Al Yarmouk Street
Madaba, JORDAN
Phone: +962 (5) 325.1313

Hyatt Zaman Petra– March 29-30, 2019 (one night)
Wadi Musa, JORDAN
Phone: +962 (3) 215.0111

Wadi Rum
Aicha Camp – March 30-31, 2019 (one night)
Wadi Rum, JORDAN
Phone: +962 (7) 775.63.472 

Price & Payment

Price per person in double occupancy: [3] 

Single Room Supplement:

The above rate includes:
  • Three nights’ accommodation on half-board basis (breakfast & dinner)
  • Daily lunches (four)
  • English speaking guide as per your program
  • Entrance fees
  • Porterage at hotels (1 suitcase per person) 
  • Deluxe transportation as per your program
  • Two hour jeep ride in Wadi Rum
  • Jordanian Visa and exit taxes
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and hotel & restaurant staff

Rate does not include:
  • Beverages
  • Any personal expenses such as telephone calls, beverages, laundry, or insurance
  • Animal rides, horse, donkey or camel
  • Any deviations or exceptions from the above itinerary
  • Anything not mentioned above

[3] Prices are based on a minimum of 17 participants and on exchange rates known at time of publication and expected to be in effect at the time of departure. Any devaluation or revaluation of currencies may affect the published price. Same payment deadlines as the Holy Land Pilgrimage apply. Balance due on January 16, 2019.