Friday Updates! Our pilgrims started their day early this morning with a group prayer led by Fr. Arakel, and began their journey to Masada, the site where King Herod the Great built a palace on the mountain. After taking a cable car to the top of the mountain, the group had time to explore the site and ruins.
From there, the pilgrims traveled to the Jordan River to see the baptismal site of Jesus. At the banks of the river, Fr. Arakel performed the Blessing of Water Service and the group listened to the Bible passage of Jesus’ Baptism by John the Baptist. The group then had an opportunity to go into the water. After lunch in Jericho, the group stopped at the sycamore tree for a Scripture reading to hear the story of when Zacchaeus climbed the tree to see Jesus passing by. Later on, the pilgrims then went to the site of the Mount of Temptation and read from Scripture to hear the accounts of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, when Satan tried to tempt Jesus.The pilgrims then had a chance to cool off and relax in the waters of the Dead Sea.
Earlier this evening, our pilgrims were invited to a dinner reception hosted by His Beatitude Abp. Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. The entire group was honored by His Beatitude's graciousness and hospitality, and presented Abp. Nourhan with a donation to help support and preserve the work of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.