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Exodus Pilgrimage on the Road to Madrid

Join pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Sydney on the Road to Madrid, as they travel through sacred sites through Egypt and the Holy Land. This page will feature daily multimedia blogs direct from the pilgrimage sites, as well as from the World Youth Day events in Madrid, with thanks to Harvest WYD Tours. Don’t miss out!

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VIDEO BLOG 6 - ISRAEL: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Published at 2011-08-16 5:47AM

The 96 young Australian pilgrims attended a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell in the ancient Biblical City of Jericho as part of their current journey through the Holy Land in the lead up to World Youth Day in Madrid.

Described in the Old Testament as the “City of Palm Trees,” archaeologists have discovered remains of settlements dating back more than 11,000 years. Jericho is not only the place where the place the Children of Israel first settled on their return from bondage in Egypt but where Christ restored the sight of two blind beggars (Matthew 20: 29-34).

The city was also where the Good Samaritan was headed when he came across the man who had been robbed, stopping to help him and bind his wounds (Luke 10: 30-37).
Led by Cardinal Pell who is accompanied by Sydney Archdiocesan parish priests, Fr James McCarthy from Sacred Heart Parish, Mosman and Fr Liem Duong from the Cabramatta Sacred Heart Parish, the Exodus Encounter Tour has enabled the group of World Youth Day pilgrims to follow in the footsteps of the ancient prophets through Egypt and Sinai before tracing Christ’s journey across the Holy Land.
After crossing from Egypt and the Sinai desert into Israel late last week, the group had the remarkable privilege of attending a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Pell while aboard a tradition sailing vessel floating in the centre of the Sea of Galilee.

The group, which includes 12 young pilgrims with disabilities, have also explored Masada, the ancient fortress built by Herod atop a massive cliff-face on the edge of the Judean desert. Reached by cable car, Masada was built on a narrow plateau and included a palace, armoury, barracks, storehouses, fortifications and winding tunnels and paths, much of which can still be seen.

Despite some of the pilgrims with disabilities needing wheelchairs due to conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy, there was no shortage of willing helpers as the group toured this historic Biblical site.

After the trip to Masada, the pilgrims were taken by bus a short distance where they stripped into swimsuits and floated in the salty buoyant waters of the Dead Sea.
Everyone whether able bodied or with a disability had the time of their lives in the warm waters with several packing themselves in the Dead Sea’s mineral rich mud for an “instant beauty treatment.”

Tomorrow (Monday, 15 August Israeli-time) the pilgrims will board a plane from Jerusalem to fly to Madrid for the Official Mass Opening on Tuesday 16 August.

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