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Journeys With the Living Stones – Magdala

Join Robert Rodriguez for this episode of our unique mini-series Journeys With the Living Stones – inspired by the words of St. Peter’s first letter in the New Testament (cf. 1 Peter 2: 4-5). This passage refers to the “living stones,” those whose ancestors have passed on the Catholic faith to them, and who are living witnesses to Jesus Christ.

Throughout this mini-series we will be accompanying pilgrims as they take us back to their pilgrimage journey. This week Robert Rodriguez will interview recent Holy Land pilgrims Roy & Marie Feutz, about their impressions of the ancient city of Magdala, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

During our hour-long journey we will discuss and vividly describe:

  • the 1st century ruins discovered here, currently part of an active archeological dig site
  • the Duc In Altum church at Magdala; the Boat Chapel, Encounter Chapel, and the beautiful mosaics
  • Who was St. Mary Magdalene and what can we learn from her?
  • Who was the Hemorrhaging Woman and what can we learn from her?

Jewel for the Journey:
[St. Mary Magdalene] a disciple of the Lord who plays a lead role in the Gospels. [She] reminds us of a fundamental truth. A disciple of Christ is one who, in the experience of human weakness, has had the humility to ask for his help, has been healed by him, and has set out following closely after him, becoming a witness of the power of his merciful love that is stronger than sin and death.  — Pope Benedict XVI

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Journeys With the Living Stones – Sea of Galilee

Join Robert Rodriguez for this episode of our unique mini-series Journeys With the Living Stones – inspired by the words of St. Peter’s first letter in the New Testament (cf. 1 Peter 2: 4-5). This passage refers to the “living stones,” those whose ancestors have passed on the Catholic faith to them, and who are living witnesses to Jesus Christ.

Throughout this mini-series we will be accompanying pilgrims as they take us back to their pilgrimage journey. This week Robert Rodriguez will interview recent Holy Land pilgrims Christina & Valentin Campos, about their impressions of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus Christ did much of his preaching by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we will transport you to many of the ports that date back to biblical times as well as set sail aboard a fishermen’s boat.

Jewel for the Journey:
Do not be afraid…Put out into the deep and let down your nets.  – St. Pope John Paul II

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Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.

Journeys With the Living Stones – Mt. of Beatitudes

Join Angela Sealana & Robert Rodriguez for a unique mini-series Journeys With the Living Stones – inspired by the words of St. Peter’s first letter in the New Testament (cf. 1 Peter 2: 4-5). This passage refers to the “living stones,” those whose ancestors have passed on the Catholic faith to them, and who are living witnesses to Jesus Christ.

Throughout this mini-series we will be accompanying pilgrims as they take us back to their pilgrimage journey. This week Angela Sealana our Media Coordinator, will talk about her impressions of and connection to the Mt. of Beatitudes, near Tabgha

Jewel for the Journey:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   – Matthew 5: 3-10

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Church of the Transfiguration – Lower Galilee, Israel

Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox for a virtual pilgrimage to the summit of Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration of Jesus (celebrated on August 6). During this program you will learn more about:

  • The significance of mountain heights chosen by God to give important messages to His people
  • The Basilica of the Transfiguration
  • The conversion story of Italian architect Antonio Berluzzi, the Basilica’s designer
  • Spiritual Life Lessons we can learn from the Transfiguration

Jewel for the Journey:
Being here enables us to understand that we need to detach ourselves from material things, to look to heaven, as earthly things often separate us from Jesus. It is no coincidence that Jesus choose this mountain for His Transfiguration.   Rabab

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Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.

Mary of Magdala at Christ’s Tomb

When you read or hear the Scriptures about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, do you imagine what the disciples must have thought or how they felt when they saw the empty Tomb of Christ? Or what about Mary Magdalene who was one of his followers and witnessed the crucifixion?

She is mentioned in all four Gospel accounts in relation to the resurrection of Jesus. How interesting! The four do not mention that the apostles or other disciples were the first to see the empty tomb where the body of Jesus was placed after his crucifixion. They were informed later by Mary of Magdala and the women with her. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke; we learn that Mary Magdalene and women with her discover the empty tomb and see angel(s) informing them that the Lord Jesus had been raised. He is not there.

However, in the Gospel of John 20:11-18, after Mary of Magdala saw the empty tomb and ran to tell Peter and the apostles, she returned to the tomb and wept. Jesus appears to her, although she thought it was the gardener; she was deep in sorrow.

It wasn’t until she heard her name Mary called out; when she turned and saw Jesus. She then went and told the disciples: I have seen the Lord!

Imagine yourself there with Mary of Magdala, seeing her weep—and then Jesus appears and calls her name. There would be a change in her face; from sadness to an immense joy, seeing her Lord before her! The gaze of the Lord Jesus upon Mary of Magdala transformed her when she first encountered him in Galilee. She was from a predominant fishing village by the Sea of Galilee called Magdala. She was the woman from whom seven demons had gone out (cf. Luke 8:2). Her encounter with him changed her life. She received her dignity as a child of God, began to follow Jesus and provided for him and his apostles out of her resources. Yes, Mary of Magdala met Jesus, believed he was the Messiah, was healed by him, and embraced his teachings. Her fidelity led her to follow Jesus to his death on Calvary.

Mary of Magdala was the first to whom Jesus appeared to after his resurrection, and for this reason she is given the title the Apostle to the Apostles, referenced by Pope John Paul II in his 1988 encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem.

The gaze of Jesus upon Mary of Magdala is a gaze, we too, can experience! Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains it well:

Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. […] There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.

Would you like to see the empty tomb? Would you like to experience bending down to enter the tomb where the body of Jesus laid after his crucifixion, the very site where he resurrected? Would you like to sit before this sacred place and ponder what happened here? Would you like to see a prayer area nearby commemorating where Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene? I invite you to join us on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land! My husband, Deacon Tom, and I are pilgrimage leaders and have been there 56 times. Yes, I have visited the empty tomb, have venerated numerous times and never tire of it. It is sanctified by the Lord; how can one tire from seeing, touching the place where his body laid? Alleluia!


Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Gethsemane & The Agony in the Garden

Travel along with Mary Jane Fox & Ed Batis to the foot of the Mount of Olives and discover the Garden of Gethsemane. Such a place still exists, the place where Jesus, Son of God spent time.

This program will address these four points:

  • The significance of the Garden of Gethsemane
  • Why was this a place of rest for Jesus and His Apostles?
  • What does it mean to watch and pray?
  • How can we draw strength from our Lord’s suffering?

Jewel for the Journey:
The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will.
– Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.

Bethany

Journey with Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox to this small town near Jerusalem where Jesus often stayed. Hear all about the home of Mary, Martha, & Lazarus. Located on the spot of present day Al-Eizariya (Place of Lazarus) in the West Bank, it is just south of the Mount of Olives, the place associated with the Ascension of our Lord.

Jewel for the Journey:
God sends us friends to be our firm support in the whirlpool of struggle.  In the company of friends we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal. 
– St. Maximilian Kolbe

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Nazareth – Hometown of Jesus

Come along with Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox as they take a look at what was a small town in the region of Galilee in ancient Palestine. This journey is focused on Nazareth, the home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. During this episode hear about:

  • What Nazareth was like at the time of Jesus
  • The site of the Annunciation
  • How the words of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary can still influence our lives today

Jewel for the Journey 
The hope of humanity was realized in the “yes” of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Hope. – Deacon Tom Fox

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.

Listen to this program now:   

Basilica of the Nativity – Bethlehem

Travel with Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox to the most sacred spot in the world, the site where Jesus was born. Meditate on this holy place as you pass through bronze gates to the spot, marked by a silver star, where the Savior was born. Also experience the Chapel of the Manger & the Altar of the Three Kings.

Jewel For The Journey
We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, in a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another. – St. Mother Teresa

Capernaum – the Town of Jesus

Come on a journey with Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox to this town on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which was at the center of Our Lord’s public ministry. This fishing port and market for merchants was also where St. Peter lived. It was also the town where Jesus invited Matthew the Tax Collector to “follow me.”

Experience the village where a number of the Apostles lived, where Jesus announced the Holy Eucharist, and where he healed and taught.

We will take you to Peter’s house, travel down the Via Maris, and go to the synagogue where Jesus went on the Sabbath day.

Jewel for the Journey

The more Christians immerse themselves in the circle of Christ’s light, the more capable they become of understanding and accompanying the path of every man and woman towards God. – Pope Francis