Via Dolorosa with Paul Siqueira -The Man on a mission.

Elsie Gabriel

The Via Dolorosa in Israel, is the path Jesus walked from the area of Pontius Pilate’s sentencing to Golgotha ,the actual location of the crucifixion and is the most reverend  Christian journey  in the whole world. I relived these steps of JESUS!

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Paul Siqueira, the lay missionary as I call him, is living the word of God with every trail to the Holy Land through Zion Tours and Travels. Paul is on his 45th call to the Holy Land. I strongly believe it is the call of God! Paul is the chosen one to show more and more Christians the way back to Christ.

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Being an environmentalist, I always recycle and reniew, and what more than to have Paul Siqueira show me how to rewind, refresh, review and retrace my steps to Jesus through the Dolorosa! I soon forgot my routine timetable back home, only to immerse myself into this beautiful retreat with JESUS!

The living spiritual energy of Jerusalem is still within me. Every day and night I relive the journey of these precious eleven days, during the course of the day finding time for personal prayer, prayer for ISRAEL, praying that more Christians retrace their steps via the Dolorosa, the pilgrimage of a life time.

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My travel footprints have taken me to Switzerland, Maldives, Seychelles, Bali, Australia, Honk Kong,Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Belgium,  Sri Lanka, Brazil, New York, Nepal, UK, France, Madagascar, but nothing compares to Israel! It is the most spiritually satisfying journey that I have encountered so far. Jerusalem is home to major sites of religious significance and pilgrimage, including the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

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As Suleman, our  enigmatic guide in Jordan explained at every interval that approached the Mount Nebo, “This Memorial Stone to Moses sits atop Mount Nebo in Moab dedicated to Moses where he viewed the Promised Land. When Moses went up to Mount Nebo in Moab, the Lord let him see the Promised Land but told him he could not enter. Moab is also the land where Moses would die and be buried.”  The pages of the Bible of the Old Testament flashed before my eyes. The Holy Land journey actually starts in Jordan, beautifully scheduled to introduce you to the old Testament, helping you start your pilgrimage with the genesis. The baptism in the River Jordan is something which reawakens your link with God,and awakens your soul to absorb so much more of the pilgrimage.

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Jerusalem ! The very ground has spiritual meaning for Christians because it was here that Jesus Christ lived, walked, met his people, preached and died. Jerusalem is our faith. I cried silent tears as I surveyed the Golden Tomb, graveyards, and the path which Jesus took to Chafes house, picturing the night he was arrested, how Jesus must have prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane with all his might. I soaked all these scenes in, all articulately narrated by Paul.

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Later, I visited the foot of the Mount of Olives where stands the Garden of Gethsemane. Filled with olive trees, the Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus spent his last hours praying to his Father, just before the Roman soldiers arrested him. Powerful messages of suffering and tolerance encompassed me, making me humble and introspective, as I kept walking, continuing on the journey of Christ.

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Walking the Via Dolorosa which actually runs through a market place, reminds one that it was a really a place outside of town where Jesus walked up to Cavalry, Via Dolorosa which means “way of sorrows”  helped me relive the moments of Christ’s Passion. Of the 14 stations, I was touched where Jesus took up the cross and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Now, the forty days of the Lenten season leading to Easter will have a real life meaning for me.

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Zion Tours & Travels Holyland Tour program has been designed keeping in mind the various needs of pilgrims of all ages. Zion Tours & Travels provides you with a biblical spiritually oriented journey, amazing guides to help you discover your self and carefully selected hotels that will make your Pilgrimage to the Holyland comfortable and enjoyable. The entire Zion Family that I toured with was as if it was chosen by a power up above, which kept us closely knit as a family in prayer.

Staying at Shepherds Hotel was bliss, cute little quaint hotel, so homely. The Lady of the house ensured that every one was personally taken care of, watching her tend to the food buffets and birthday songs with so much enthusiasm was contagious. The hotel is rightly named so!

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There is so much to write about. But only some highlights here. Take it from me, you will be transformed at the sight of the Star of Bethlehem in the Church of the Nativity marks the spot where Jesus was born. Christmas will never be the same again. I vow to place Jesus first!

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Magnificent architecture every where. Church of the Beatitudes was also powerful, it is located near the site where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.The Church of the Beatitudes is octagonal, representing the eight Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. Emotions are running high as I relate my steps of the entire trip to the Holy Land, I can not describe every place for you, You have to live it to relive the Bible. Join the Holy Land trail with Paul Siquiera.

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Amazing how ISRAEL is pampered by the Mediterranean coast which is itself a wonder, with many unspoiled beaches and the Red sea. Being a Underwater Naturalists and Diver how I longed to plunge into the oceans for some rich biodiversity of corals but I have made a promise to revisit  Israel’s rich biodiversity Oceanside sometime again soon.

Of course, the Dead Sea beckoned with the saltiest body of water on earth and, at 1,388 feet below sea level, the lowest elevation on the surface of the planet. I did float miraculously, scrubbing myself with some good mineral laden mud packs.

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It’s not called the Land of Milk and Honey for nothing! Israel welcomes agriculturists from the world over for its genius methods of drip irrigation and cultivation. Food is always fresh and plenty. Speaking of Honey, I can not forget ‘Honey’, our professor who was our tour guide during our five lovely days in Israel. So profound and articulate. The best guide you could ask for, he was the cherry on the cake during my Israel trip. Honey educates you not only about the Biblical times but about it s people, culture, communities, ancient sites, ruins, do’s and don’t’s, Find him and enjoy his Ela Ela!!

I do remember our guide Nura on the trip around Egypt, the Gorgeous Grand Pyramid hotel, the dancing and singing on the River Nile. Yes, we also went to Egypt! Pyramids! I’am telling you Zion tours packs a punch.

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Of course my dear Anne, my room mate during my eleven days through my journey of the Holy Land, was God sent. I learned to be so well disciplined and punctual from her. We got along like house on fire. Every dawn, from the corner of my eyes I still remember how I watched Anne take the Bible and begin the day with a personal prayer. Thank you Anne!

I feel spiritually reawakened! I am living my dream. So will you!

If you are reading this and want to retrace your steps back to where Jesus walked, believe me, the time is now, take the Zion Mission to the Holy Land, connect with me at 9967347511.

” Jeremiah 31 : 6 : Come let us go up to Zion to the Lord our God “

This article has 9 comments

  1. Sr. Molly Fernandes Reply

    It’s indeed a blessing to travel with Paul sequeira, the man on a mission who doesn’t do the travels as business but as a chosen one of God, do it as a ministry, of spreading the lived experience of jesus to his customers. Even the prodigals have come back after journeying with Pauls Zion tours and travels.

    It’s a vivid experience to relive the bible everyday after your crush, I call it a crush. ….. With Paul sequeira, the man on a MISSION.

    • elsie gabriel Reply

      Thankyou so much Sr. Molly. Your comment is so valuable. Thanks for taking the time. God bless. Kind request to please share in your contacts group’s.

  2. Morris Gabriel Correia Reply

    I too entirely concur with what has been stated by Elsie Gabriel. My wife and I have been on two trips to the Holy Land with Zion Tours and our experience has been fascinating. There is no other Tour which has given us that complete spiritual together with the comfort and focused members of the group. Paul and his well trained staff are a delight to be with. God has truly blessed their efforts and the results speak for themselves.

    • elsie gabriel Reply

      Thankyou so much Morris for your comment and appreciation. God bless you. Kind request to please share the article link with other groups too.
      Elsie Gabriel

  3. Olga B Nironga Reply

    Madam, your article brought back the deeply spiritual experience I had in Israel in May this year, with Zion Tours, Paul Sequeira at the helm! All the arrangements were perfect….our Group of 52 persons was one in mind and heart which made the our trip more meaningful! I have recorded some of our prayer, the hymns we sang and Paul’s talks in the bus!!! So I relive the experience whenever I play it back! Jesus becomes alive again!

    • elsie gabriel Reply

      Thankyou so much Olga for your review. Yes it’s a Spiritual journey alright. Kind request to please share article in your groups. God bless you.

  4. Sr. Molly Fernandes Reply

    And the Lord has made his dwelling in Zion. …
    Anyone who make their journey with Zion tours and travels, will always be found hungry for more. …
    All because the man on the mission is a ANOINTED ONE. ..PAUL. …
    Your review will reminiscence all those who have had their experience.
    Paul is all set to break all records for the Glory of God. ..
    Because
    GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME
    AND
    ALL THE TIME
    GOD IS GOOD.

  5. Mike Dias Reply

    I entirely agree that the tour of the Holy land with Paul was a truly a God experience for me and my family. If ever you want to define a true, ethical Catholic entrepreneur who has a heart of gold and huge missionary zeal —–it is my friend Paul Sequeira ! Good luck and best wishes to him always. Thanks for sharing and reviving precious memories Elsie Gabriel. God bless you.

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