In the Footprints of Our Faith
A journey through the Holy Land, by Jesús Gil and Eduardo Gil
The 25 articles in “In the Footprints of Our Faith” offer religious, historical, and archaeological considerations about important sites in the Holy Land: Nazareth, Ein Karem, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Cana, Capernaum, the Lake of Gennesaret, Bethany, Emmaus, and more. They have been written in hopes of helping each reader personally take part in the Gospel, as St. Josemaria advised, so that the Word of God may have a deep and lasting effect on the reader’s life.
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Contents and Introduction
Nazareth: Basilica of the Annunciation
The room in which the Blessed Virgin received tidings from the Angel Gabriel is venerated in Nazareth. Blessed Alvaro del Portillo celebrated Mass in this cave.
Ein Karem: birthplace of John the Baptist
Tradition locates the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Ein Karem, a town about six kilometers outside the Old City.
Bethlehem: the Basilica of the Nativity
In the town of Bethlehem, our Saviour came into the world. The grotto in which he was born is found in the crypt of the Basilica of the Nativity.
Bethlehem: the Shepherds’ Field
A sanctuary three kilometers from Bethlehem commemorates the place where the angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.
The Temple of Jerusalem
After the birth of Jesus, and at the time of the puriﬁcation of Mary, the Child was presented in the Temple.
With the Family in Nazareth
The remains of the house where the Holy Family is believed to have lived are preserved in Nazareth, in the crypt of St. Joseph’s Church.
The Wedding Feast at Cana
In Cana, a small town near Nazareth, the Lord performed his ﬁrst miracle, turning water into wine at Our Lady’s request.
Capernaum: the town of Jesus
Jesus resided for some time in this small community on the shores of the Lake of Gennesaret, the center of his public ministry in Galilee.
Tabgha: the Church of the Beatitudes
On a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, a sanctuary commemorates the place where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.
Tabgha: the Church of the Multiplication
In Tabgha, pilgrims venerate the rock upon which the Lord placed ﬁve loaves and two ﬁsh, with which he fed the multitudes.
Mount Tabor: Basilica of the Transﬁguration
Tradition indicates that our Lord may have been transﬁgured on Mount Tabor, in the middle of the plain of Esdraelon.
Jerusalem: Church of the Pater Noster
In 326 AD, St. Helena had a basilica built over the grotto which was venerated as the place where Jesus taught the words of the Our Father.
Bethany: the Tomb of Lazarus
When Jesus went to Jerusalem, he often stayed at the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus in Bethany. Today pilgrims can visit the tomb of Lazarus, where he was buried before Our Lord raised him from the dead.
He saw the city and wept
On the western side of the Mount of Olives, the Dominus Flevit church recalls the tears Christ shed for Jerusalem upon his triumphal entry into the city, a few days before his Passion.
Jerusalem: in the Upper Room
According to ancient tradition, the room of the Last Supper is located in a southwestern corner of the Old City, on a hill which has been called Zion since the Christian era.
Gethsemane: the Agony in the Garden
Tradition places the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley.
St. Peter in Gallicantu
Not far from the Cenacle stands the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, over the spot which some traditions say to be the house of the high priest.
Jerusalem: the Way of the Cross
The fourteen Stations of the Cross commemorate the Carrying of the Cross from the praetorium to Calvary, the Cruciﬁxion, and the interment of our Lord’s body in the Sepulchre.
The last ﬁve Stations of the Cross are located inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.
Jerusalem: the Holy Sepulchre
The tomb in which the body of Jesus was laid, which he rose from on the third day, holds the place of honor in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.
A village named Emmaus
The Risen Lord appeared that Sunday to two disciples on their way to Emmaus. Various places in the Holy Land might be identified as this village.
Tabgha: Church of the Primacy of St. Peter
On the shores of the Lake of Gennesaret, a church commemorates the appearance of Christ to the disciples after his Resurrection, the second miraculous catch of ﬁsh, and the conﬁrmation of St. Peter’s primacy in the Church.
The Gospels say that the Ascension took place on the summit of the Mount of Olives, on the road to Bethphage.
The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven
In Jerusalem, two churches commemorate the mystery of the Assumption of the Virgin: the Basilica of the Dormition on Mount Zion, and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, near Gethsemane.
Mount Carmel: the Stella Maris sanctuary
In 1994, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo began his pilgrimage to the Holy Land here. The Stella Maris sanctuary overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Haifa, and is linked to the prophet Elijah and the birth of the Carmelite Order.