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The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage Hardcover – 1 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St Anthony Messenger Press,U.S. (1 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616366133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616366131
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Holy Land Whats the next best thing to going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Fr. Mitch Pacwa? Being able to travel with him from the comfort of your home as the holy sites come to life through the pages of this book. With stunning images and thoughtful commentary, "The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage" is more than your typical travel guide. It also contains: A short commentary on each site, explaini Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Jo Kelly on 12 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book on the Holy Land. Fr Mitch is an expert on the Holy Land. I recommend to all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cal on 22 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As others have commented, this is an excellent book by Fr Mitch. One gets a feel of the holy sites through the easy-to-read, but excellent, commentary in the 244 glossy pages of text. Lots of beautiful colour pictures together with clear descriptions enable the reader to visualise this 'guided pilgrimage' of the Holy Land. It is obvious that much thought has been given to the content and presentation of the book. The text is clear and in double-line spacing, making it easy on the eyes.

Because it is so enlightening, this book would be a valuable read before visiting the Holy Land. But, I highly recommend it to all.

My grateful thanks to the author Father Mitch for producing such a wonderful book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a treasure! I bought this book to prepare for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, knowing Fr. Mitch's depth of knowledge and experience. Even so, it exceeded all my expectations. In a very straightforward and readable style, Fr. Mitch shares background information about each place, blended with meditation and prayer to break open its real meaning in the history of salvation. With a generous scattering of photographs, this is a real "armchair pilgrimage" as the title suggests. Now, it enables me to relive the experience with even greater depth.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
An Art, History and Prayer Book All In One! 22 Nov 2013
By Liz Lantigua - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. is a great keepsake and a meaningful gift for someone special this Christmas! It’s an art, history and prayer book all in one! The Holy Land is in the style of a coffee table book, filled with pages of lovely photographs, along with historical facts and accompanied by beautiful prayers.
I now have an image to attach to the sites I have read in the Bible and have a real appreciation of what it all looks like. For a moment, history comes alive again!

I enjoyed the beautiful photos of the book but also gained so much knowledge about my faith. I learned the Sea of Galilee has various names in the Bible: also referred as the Sea of Kinnereth in the Book of Numbers, Genesareth by Luke, and the Sea of Tiberias as John like to call it. As I read this book, I understand how the Church of the Nativity is the oldest church in the Holy Land, because the Persians destroyed all the other churches except this one because it contained a mosaic of the Magi, who were wearing Persian-style clothes. I was amazed that the Basilica of the Visitation contained so many mosaics and frescoes: including one depicting the wedding feast of Cana and another of John Duns Scotus, a theologian, who defended the theology of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages.

With every page, I visited all the sites from the Annunciation, Birth, Public Ministry and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ! I’ve traveled, seen and learned at my pace while reading The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage and it is good to know that if I ever plan a real trip I can take it with the author as well. Fr. Pacwa makes pilgrimages there all the time!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Makes me want to take a real pilgrimage to the Holy Land! 20 Dec 2013
By Stuart Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage is a gorgeous coffee table book, which highlights significant Biblical places (e.g., Gethsemane and Cana) and churches of importance (e.g., Ascension Chapel). The book is divided into the following eight geographical sections:

1. Bethlehem and Ein Karem
2. Jerusalem Old City
3. Mount of Olives
4. East of Jerusalem
5. Mount Zion
6. North of Jerusalem
7. Western Galilee
8. The Sea of Galilee

When I first opened this book, I went through it and only looked at the pictures. I must confess that if this book included nothing but those pictures, it would be worth the price for the pictures alone. After my surface investigation of this book, I decided to get serious and take the time to actually read the accompanying text. His descriptions and attention to detail make you feel like you are on an actual pilgrimage with Fr. Pacwa. It also makes you wish for even more pictures in the book or perhaps for an accompanying DVD tour. Each chapter then ends with a prayer, which can be used for guided meditation. So far I have only had time to quietly reflect on a couple of these places. I plan to re-visit the book many times in the future though, especially when the places tie in with major feast days in the Church.

My favorite place to read about was a toss-up between The Holy Sepulcher Church and the Church of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy Sepulcher Church is venerated as the site where Jesus was both crucified and buried. Underneath the altar is an actual rock from Calvary. How awesome this place must be in which to worship. There is a yearly miracle that occurs here, which Fr. Pacwa failed to mention, and that is the Miracle of Holy Fire. I chose the Church of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary as my second favorite chapter for Fr. Pacwa's inclusion of an excerpt from "The Book of the Passing of the Most Holy Virgin, the Mother of God." This was incredibly fascinating to read, and it sheds light on questions of "Did Mary die?" or "Why was Mary assumed into Heaven?"

If going to the Holy Land sounds awesome but you currently lack the funds or opportunity, then I would recommend this book instead. While it's not the same as an actual pilgrimage (Really, what is?) it will at least provide you an introduction, a sampling of what is in the Holy Land. When you finish the book, do not casually put it on your bookshelf only to forget about it. Instead, place it on your coffee table or another place where you will see it everyday. It is a book you can visit multiple times throughout the Church Year to meditate with, especially seasons like Advent or Lent, and grow closer to God.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A treasure 21 Nov 2013
By Carol Blank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In the 1980s and '90s, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., a student of the Holy Land, joined three pilgrimages to the ancient sites. Within a few years, the Jesuit was adding information to the guide’s presentation and eventually was permitted to lead his own groups. By 2012 he had led 58 trips to Israel, 10 to both Jordan and Egypt, 5 to both Greece and Turkey, and 2 to Lebanon. With this armchair pilgrimage, Pacwa hopes that readers, both those who have traveled to the Holy Land and those who have not, find an opportunity “to pray more and come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

The Holy Land, an Armchair Pilgrimage contains biblical texts associated with key shrines and sites, photos and art, mediations, and prayers. By structuring the book geographically Pacwa provides readers with an experience similar to that of an actual pilgrimage. Some of the featured sites, such as The Church of the Nativity, lend especially to that outcome. This chapter opens with a photo of the church and brief historical background. The next pages take us inside the church with photos and a description of the visitor’s experience from “adult visitors must bend down to avoid bumping their heads on the wide stone lintel” to “public expression of prayer is not permitted as you wait in the long, disorganized line.” The same feel of “being there” continues through The Cave of the Nativity. This page features photos of pilgrims descending into the cave and the silver star marking the spot where Christ was born. The chapter closes with history, scripture, and photos related to the chapels of St. Joseph and The Holy Innocents and St. Jerome.

In addition to the rich text and full color artwork, Pacwa provides lists of illustrations, scripture citations, and a subject matter index. Through and through, The Holy Land, An Armchair Pilgrimage is a treasure.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Less words more photos needed 17 Jan 2014
By Aileen Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a top quality book and well written but I was hoping for lots of photos of the Holy Land since it was billed as an arm chair Pilgrimage. There are not very many photos of the Holy Land or even the shrines and churches. I must admit I was disappointed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not just a guidebook, an opportunity to grow spiritually 21 Dec 2013
By J. Cann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have seen Fr. Mitch's show a few times on EWTN. Before I received this book as a gift, I had no idea that he is so experienced in leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land. He is clearly an expert with a depth and breadth of understanding.

I enjoyed the book for several reasons. He weaves important facts, images and descriptions of important places from the Bible. He provides tips for pilgrims such as what places are accessible. He gave me a sense of what it would be like to be on a tour with him.

Most importantly, the book gives me a sense of reverence for the Holy Land. I think I received this sense from the book because of the incredible pictures (especially of the art from various locations in the Holy Land) and because each chapter includes citations of Scripture and prayers from Fr. Mitch's actual pilgrimages.

I'm not sure if I will be fortunate enough to visit the Holy Land. I do feel like I have already been there because of Fr. Mitch's book. I highly recommend it to any Christian who wants to understand our ancient traditions and culture.
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