The Church Of The Annunciation In Nazareth, Israel
The Church of the Annunciation, according to tradition, is the site where the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary in Nazareth, Israel, announcing that she would bring forth a child. The site where the church is located is over the area of what is believed to be the house of Mary. The Biblical text of the annunciation is found in Luke 1: 26-38.
"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her".
The History Of The Church Of The Annunciation
Archaeological excavations of this site have revealed the earlier constructions of four churches. During the mid 4th Century CAD there was evidence of what might have been an altar in the Grotto, which is thought to have been the home of Mary. This would have been the earliest of the churches.
The Church of the Annunciation was commissioned by Emperor Constantine. There is historical evidence to show that it was most likely directed by his mother, Saint Helena. There is also a motif that seems to support the idea that the church was founded by Deacon Canon from Jerusalem. The church was most likely completed in the year of 470 AD. This building was completely destroyed in 638 AD by the Arab invasion.
In the year 1109 the Crusaders arrived in the Holy Land and began a new church on this same site. A little more than a thousand years latter, this beautiful church was once again destroyed.
The Franciscans built a new church on this same site in 1730. It was latter enlarged in 1877. This church was demolished in 1955 to make way for this latest building.
The current building was completed in 1969. It was designed by one of the world's greatest designers, Giovanni Muzio. There has been an ongoing problem since 1997, when a mosque was built in front of the current church.
The Ceiling Of The Church Of The Annunciation
The Front And Altar Of The Church Of The Annunciation
Notice the beautiful paintings surrounding the altar area depicting scenes from Biblical times. There are many historic motifs and statues.
The Basilica Of The Annunciation
The Grotto At The Church Of The Annunciation In Nazareth
These caves are believed to be the home of Mary. Tradition says that this is the place that the Angel appeared to the Virgin Mary.
Part Of The Archaeological Excavations From Several Digs
Around the current church you can see several different digs that has unearthed parts of churches, and even a Roman village. So far they have unearthed walls, houses, silos, and cisterns which were part of the village services.
Village Of Nazareth
Nazareth was the childhood hometown of Jesus of Nazareth. It is here in Nazareth that he grew and was nurtured as a youth. Joseph was a carpenter and he would have worked with him in the carpentry shop.
Taking Time To Stop For Tea And A Pastry
While in the village, there are many local shops where you can grab a fresh cup of tea and a pastry. There are many different types of fresh tea leaves, such as Hibiscus, Mint, Rose Hip, Fruit, and many herbs. The bakeries are filled with delicious pastries.
Plenty Of Choices For A Warm Cup Of Tea
Delicious Kanafeh, Kunefe, Or Kadavif Fill The Bakery
These cheese butter pastries are soaked in a sweet syrup. It is the perfect pastry to try with your cup of tea. It is it delicious!
Whether you come to Nazareth as a pilgrim or an adventurer, you will find Nazareth and The Church of The Annunciation to be an awesome place filled with layers of living history. Explore the ancient village and the modern city of Nazareth, and take time to have a delicious cup of local tea and a pastry.
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