Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 3

Today I finally arrived on Israeli time. A good night’s sleep makes all the difference when you are traveling with a tight schedule. We started off early for some bus rides to the nearby the Sea of Galilee and the towns that surround it. It was a very busy day but well coordinated with seeing the sites efficiently. I normally don’t do tours, but so far I am impressed with the efficiency and coordination of this one.

Basilica of the Annunciation and Church of St. Joseph

The Basilica is the third church that is located over what is believed to be the old church that was completely demolished in 1954 to allow for the construction of a new basilica. A competing view is that the Church was the site of the Holy House of Mary. The new basilica was built during the years 1960–1969.

Pope Paul VI celebrated Mass in the new church during his trip to the Holy Land in 1964 The basilica was completed in 1969.

Used by the Latin parish, it remains under the control of the Franciscans. It is the largest Christian Church building or sanctuary in the Middle East under the supervision of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for the Great Jubilee of 2000 and celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation on March 25, 2000. Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in the Basilica in May 2009 during his trip to Nazareth.

The Annunciation According to Luke

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,

27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28 He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favor! The Lord is with you.’

29 She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean,

30 but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour.

31 Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus.

32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David;

33 he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’

34 Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?’

35 The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.

36 And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month,

37 for nothing is impossible to God.’

38 Mary said, ‘You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.’ And the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38

St. Joseph’s Church is a Franciscan Roman Catholic church in the Old City of Nazareth. It was built in 1914 over the remains of much older churches. It is located next to the Church of the Annunciation. The church celebrates Joseph’s carpentry background with wood ceilings and treatments throughout. The Church is built on top of what is believed to be Joseph’s home. A Jewish bath along with artifacts has led to this conclusion over the centuries.

Mary’s Well

Is the site where, according to the book of James, Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and announced that she would bear the Son of God – an event known as the Annunciation. The spring still runs and is currently covered.


The Catholic Church is located in the central part of the town of Kafr Kanna (Cana), in Lower Galilee. It is dedicated to the weddings of Christianity. Its name commemorates the event of the Wedding at Cana from the Gospel of John, thought by some Christians to have taken place on the site, during which Jesus performed his first miracle, by turning water into wine at the request or behest of Mother Mary.

The Church is owned by the Custody of the Holy Land, part of the Franciscan order in the Catholic Church. The current church was built circa 1881, and expanded from 1897-1905, following efforts by the Franciscans to acquire the site between 1641 and 1879, when acquisition was completed. Twentieth-century archaeological excavations indicated that, before the current church building, the site housed a Jewish synagogue in the fourth and fifth centuries, and tombs under the rule of the Byzantine Empire in the fifth and sixth centuries.

In 1901 the current facade was built, and on September 30, 1906, Bishop Angelo Roncalli consecrated the altar. In the second half of the 1990s, the Holy Land began an extensive renovation of the church, completed in 1999.

Mount Precipice

Mount of Precipitation, Mount of the Leap of the Lord, and Mount Kedumim is located just outside the southern edge of Nazareth, 2.0 km southwest of the modern city center.

It is believed by some to be the site of the Rejection of Jesus described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 4:29-30). According to the story, the people of Nazareth, not accepting Jesus as Messiah tried to push him from the mountain, but “he passed through the midst of them and went away.”


One response to “Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 3”

  1. Marilyn Moore Henderson

    Thomas we are all so blessed that you traveled with us to the Holy Land, both then and now! Thank you so very much for this beautiful work!

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