“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

New Holy Land virtual Advent pilgrimage hopes to fill ‘holy sites with peace’

The Magdala Tourist Center, located in the biblical town of Magdala on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, announced a virtual pilgrimage due to the conflict in the Holy Land, which is preventing pilgrims from visiting in person this Advent and Christmas season.

The “Star of Wonder Advent Pilgrimage of Peace” will start on Sunday, Dec. 3, and continue throughout the Advent season. Each Sunday, a video will be released from a holy site and will discuss its biblical meaning and include daily reflections.

Holy sites in the virtual pilgrimage will include Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene; Nazareth; Ein Karem, the place of the Visitation and birth of John the Baptist; Bat Sahour; and Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.

Kathleen Nichols, the director of Magdala’s English media team who leads in-person and virtual pilgrimages, told CNA in an interview that the virtual pilgrimage was “inspired by the conflict here in the Holy Land.”

Nichols and her small team went into the Palestinian Territories to film in the now-empty sites connected with Christ’s birth. Their hope is that virtual pilgrims can fill these places with prayers for peace from all over the world.

“People cannot come in person, and everyone wants to help by praying for peace,” she said. “And so I wanted to fill the holy sites with peace.”

“We hope people can fill the holy sites, especially the site of the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, with prayer for peace,” she added.

The Magdala Tourist Center, which began construction in 2009, is made up of an archaeological park, guest house, and worship center. As construction began, workers who were digging the foundation of the guest house discovered a first-century synagogue. Inside that synagogue, they also found the Magdala Stone, a discovery many archaeologists consider the most significant archaeological find in the past 50 years.

2023-12-06T07:09:52+00:00 December 6th, 2023|Categories: News|