Friday, March 21, 2014

DVD Review: The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land

This review is by Scott Danielson, my podcasting partner over at A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.

I haven't made a trip to The Holy Land, but would like to go. There's got to be something special about walking where Jesus and his contemporaries walked. The escape from day-to-day life into a world that's very different (for me) yet very familiar. I imagine contemplative moments taken after stepping away from the groups, where one can really process the fact that one is truly and actually in the Holy Land. I imagine that such a trip would be faith affirming, and... well, there's no need to imagine what it would be like because Diana von Glahn took us along with her on a tour.

The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land is a joyful, personal, and informative travelogue. Diana is the host and her husband David shoots and directs the show.

I thoroughly enjoyed all six episodes. The tour starts at Mount Carmel and ends with the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On the way, Diana shows us the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Jerusalem's Walls, the Sea of Galilee, and many other places.

On of the reasons for my enjoyment is that Diana not only explains the historical significance of the art and architecture she encounters, but she also shares her faith. Sometimes clearly moved, she shares her personal thoughts at several of the sites. In turn, I come away from this series moved myself. I'm both thankful for the experience of having watched and am more eager to take a trip myself.

But whether I take that trip or not, I appreciate and agree with what Diana said near the end of the series as she muses about whether or not the contested sites along the Via Dolorosa are the actual path that Christ took to Golgotha:
What matters is what's in our hearts and what we bring to these windy streets. Whether we meet Jesus along them, I think, depends on our willingness and desire to do so. Our frame of mind. And the openness of our hearts.

The Faithful Traveler is available on DVD and is also airing on EWTN. For more information, visit The Faithful Traveler website.

Diana and David von Glahn have organized a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for this summer. I've got to say that were I ever to go on pilgrimage, this is the group I'd want to go with. Who wouldn't want to hang out with Diana? (Probably with David too, but I haven't seen him on screen ... so I've got nothin' to work with here.)


  1. While often excluded, quite a bit of the New Testament locations are in modern day Turkey. I think any well-rounded trip to "the holy land" would include some time in Turkey. Or maybe I just want to go to Turkey. Cool site.

    1. I realized that when I was reading some book recently ... one of those books about what life was like back in Jesus' time. So much happened outside of what we define as "Holy Land" meaning Israel. I'm with you. I'd like to go to Turkey!

    2. Wait, we're going to Turkey?

    3. You might have to go along since they don't approve of females driving. As my sister-in-law discovered when she and my brother were there a couple of years ago.

    4. Hey, Diana has a pilgrimage going this summer!

  2. go to the HolyLand while you are still young....there are a lot of hills & stairs...Diana's video is a great insight