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Sites Central to Life of Virgin Mary

Israel Ministry of tourism develops new Catholic pilgrimage itinerary

Jan 21, 2011

NEW YORK, New York – The Israel Ministry of Tourism has released a new booklet entitled, A Holy Land Pilgrimage: In the Footsteps of the Virgin Mary, which details a new Catholic pilgrimage itinerary featuring sites central to the life of the Virgin Mary. The booklet was published to continue to promote pilgrimages to Israel.(Photo: Ein Kerem by Sasson Tiram)“In 2010, 3.45 million tourists visited Israel, making it the best year ever for tourism,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Tourism Commissioner, North and South America. “The Catholic market was vital to reaching that goal, and we want to do all that we can to continue to develop the holy sites and provide Catholic pilgrims with the resources they need.”The itinerary includes visits to the places where the Virgin Mary lived and traveled with Jesus, including:

• Zippori, the ancient town which some early-Church traditions believe to be the birthplace of the Virgin Mary

• Nazareth, where pilgrims can visit Mary’s well, as well as the Mary of Nazareth International Center

• Elijah’s cave, the place where the Holy Family rested on their way back from Egypt

• Ein Karem, the birthplace of St. John the Baptist

• Abu Ghosh, with the Church of Notre Dame de L’Arche de l’Alliance

The booklet includes information on the sites such as operating hours, accessibility, etc., and is being distributed to tourism wholesalers and tour operators who specialize in Catholic and Christian pilgrimages. The English-language booklet will be translated into Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, French, and Italian. A condensed version can be found on the Tourism Ministry’s dedicated Catholic website: . For more information about travel to Israel, please visit .

About the Israel Ministry of Tourism
With its main headquarters for North America in New York, the Israel Ministry of Tourism leads the State of Israel’s efforts at maintaining a strong tourism industry. The Ministry of Tourism promotes tourism to Israel via its Israel Government Tourist Offices in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Israel Ministry of tourism develops new Catholic pilgrimage itinerary
Zippori / Image via


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