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Sunday, July 12, 2015

I'm wrapping up my stay in  Jerusalem. Only two days left here. Today is also the Sabbath.  So the city is very quiet. Hardly any traffic, no buses or trains running. People staying inside or going to the synagogue.  So I decided to go to some of my favorite spots. Since there is no public transportation in the Jewish section, I walked to the Damascus Gate.  That's where the Arab Bus Staion is located.  So I took bus 275 to the top of the Mount of Olives. There is the Ascension Chapel, the Our Father Church. But what I really want to do was walk the Palm Sunday Walk of Christ and the Staions of Christ  It starts with a look out over the Old City and the New City.  I could actually see my apartment in the far distance.  Then I started my walk.  

The walk starts down a long steep hill.  There is a handrail to help along.  

The first stop is where Jesus wept over Jerusalem.  Then you walk past the Russian Orhodox church dedicated to Mary Magdalene.  Then down to then Kidron Valley and up to the Temple Mount.  I came back to the Garden of Gethsemane.  Went to the Rock of the Agony
and had Mass outside the Church in a quiet area of a side garden.  
Then went back to the area where the disciples fell asleep all those times and where Jesus was betrayed by Judas.  Then I followed the path in the Kidron Valley to Caiphas' house where Jesus was taken by force.  Then I backtracked to start the Via Dolorosa.  Went by the church dedicated to the death of Stephen, the first martyr for Christ.  

I went through Stephen's or Lions Gate. Before you begin the stations, you stop at the Church of St. Ann, the birthplace of Mary.  Also the pools of Bethsaida are there. This is area where Jesus cured the man who couldn't get to the pool to be cured because he was too slow.

You wind through the old city, stopping at each station.  Some had their chapels open today, some where closed, but you walk to he stops regardless. The day's business in the shops and restaurants goes on probably just like when Christ carried his cross through the streets. When you get to the fifth station, you start walking up Calvary Hill.  Winding between tourist groups you can spend a few moments in prayer. Then you arrive at the Holy Sepulcher for the last four stations and the 15th, the Resurrection Station. The Franciscans not only have an area for the place where Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other women.  They also have a chapel dedicated to the appearance of Jesus to his mother, Mary. It was a long day, but well worth it.  Once again following the path of Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! It is truly amazing to see the pictures and enjoy reading your reflections on the sites and experiences you are having. Safe travels!