2018 Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre - 206 Tours - the Holy Land
 EOHS Knights and Dames in the Holy Land - view more photos in the slideshow below.

In December of 2018, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre Eastern Lieutenancy made a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Her Excellency Vicki Downey, and spiritual leaders Chorbishop John Faris and Fr. Michael Saharic. The group embarked on a spiritual journey through many significant and deeply holy sites. We at 206 Tours consider ourselves so blessed to have been given the opportunity to operate several Pilgrimages for the Order.


The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre is a Roman Catholic Order of Knighthood that has operated under the protection of the Pope since the Middle Ages. Its mission for, almost a millennium, is to strengthen Catholic beliefs and values; to sustain and aid the charitable, cultural and social works of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land; and to protect the rights of Christians in the Holy Land.


Originally founded by Godfrey of Bouillon in 1099, this internationally recognized order of knighthood now has 30,000 Knights and Dames from all over the world. Our 206 Tours President and Founder, Lady Milanka Lachman LC*HS, her husband Sir Charles Lachman KC*HS, and her daughter, Vice President of 206 Tours, Sandra Lippold, LHS, are all honored to be supporters and members of the order. Sandra and her young daughter embarked on this very special Pilgrimage.


The Pilgrimage began with a full day tour to Acco and Mukhraha with Mass at Magdala. On the second day, the Order visited the Byzantine Church of St. Joseph and Mary’s Well in Nazareth. It was a very special way to celebrate advent with Mass at the Church of the Annunciation.  Married Pilgrims were given the opportunity to renew their wedding vows at the Franciscan Wedding Church in Cana.


The next day the group explored the theme of the Ministry of Christ in Galilee starting with Mass in Capernaum and visiting the museum exhibiting the oldest venerating sign of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The group celebrated the Liturgy at the Mount of Beatitude where Jesus gave his great Sermon on the Mount before heading to Tabgha where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 people and ending the day with a beautiful boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.


Reflecting on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity, the group celebrated Mass at the site of the Transfiguration, Mt. Tabor. On this packed day, the group also visited Jerusalem, renewed their baptismal vows in the Jordan River, viewed the Mount of Temptation and explored Jericho.


The group had the extremely rare opportunity to tour the Alasqa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock – the golden roof of which has become an iconic symbol of Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock is the Islamic holiest place of prayer, as it covers the sacred Rock where Muhammad prayed. The Dome of the Rock is also sacred to Jews as it is the place where Abraham prepared to offer his son Isaac, and to Christians as it is where baby Jesus was presented in the Temple; where He was found among the teachers when He was 12; where He prayed and taught. After this short tour, the group visits the Church of Visitation in Ein Karem, Jerusalem where Mary visited Elizabeth, mother of St John the Baptist and where Mary recited one of the greatest Marian hymns Song of Praise, the Magnificat. At the Israel Museum the group saw the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.


While reflecting on the themes of the Visitation and Nativity, the group journeyed to Bethlehem and stopped for a visit to the Holy Child Program run by Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. After celebrating Mass at Saint Jerome, the Order spent the afternoon at Shepherd’s Fields.
Members of the Eastern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre pictured outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where they made solemn entry into the Tomb of Jesus Christ. 

Towards the end of the Pilgrimage, the Order visited the Mount of Olives, Pater Noster shrine, the Dominus Flevit church, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Rock of Agony, and celebrated Mass the Church of All Nations. While reflecting on Palm Sunday, His Agony, and the Last Supper, they continued to the Church of the Assumption, and commemorated the Last Supper on Mt. Zion. The Knights and Dames, of the group, were excited to receive the Pilgrim Shell from the Most Reverend, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the current Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerulsalem. On this very special day, the order made Solemn Entry into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. You’ll see in the images below; the group’s youngest Pilgrims led the procession.


The Knights and Dames also traveled to Deir Rafat Monastery - dedicated to “Our Lady of Palestine”, the Patroness of the Order. Established in 1927, the facade in the Convent Church bears the Latin inscription "Reginae Palaestinae", meaning "to the Queen of Palestine". It carries a six (6) meter statue of the Virgin Mary, and the Church ceiling is decorated with a painting showing angels carrying banners with the first words of the "Hail Mary" prayer in 280 languages.


Finally, on the last day of their Pilgrimage, the group commemorated His Crucifixion walking the Via Dolorosa beginning at dawn at the Antonia Fortress, following the Road to Calvary, reflecting on the Stations of the Cross and celebrating Solemn Mass at the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


This special Pilgrimage was sure to be a life-changing experience to all present. We’re grateful for the opportunity to share these beautiful photos that so well document their spiritual journey. Please enjoy the slideshow below showing highlights form the 2018 Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Watch the slideshow below to view stunning photos from this special Pilgrimage!



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