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mar 11

Israel: "Walk in the footsteps of the Virgin Mary"

Church of the Nativity entrance, in the West Bank (Courtesy emeryjl/Flickr)

Tourism officials in Israel now offer a free, do-it-yourself guide

to walking in the footsteps of Jesus's mother, says the Associated Press.

The booklet, which includes information on the historical sites, their operating hours, and

accessibility issues for the physically impaired, is being distributed to tourism wholesalers and tour operators. To get the booklet, go to the tourism ministry's special Catholic site: holyland-pilgrimage.org.

Download the 59-page PDF by clicking here. (Some web browsers may require you to download free Adobe Acrobat software to be able to read this free document.)

Each month, Israel tourism sends out an e-mail newsletter with updated travel news relevant to Christian pilgrims. Sign up by clicking here.

Last year, 3.45 million tourists visited Israel. More than two-thirds were Christian, with more than half Catholic. One of the most popular sites is Bethlehem's The Basilica of the Nativity. The church protects the cave that's said to be the where Jesus was born.

Many of the sites of historical significance are part of territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. American visitors can pass to all of these sites using their visa to enter Israel.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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