Ever wondered about Mary’s home in Nazareth? Ancient Nazareth is located in the Galilee area. At the time of Jesus, Nazareth consisted of a small population, perhaps around 200 . The religious order of Franciscans excavated the area in 1736, and since then, have been the custodians of this holy site known throughout the world as the hometown of the Holy Family.
Today, a large Catholic church is built over most of ancient Nazareth: the Basilica of the Annunciation. As we enter the church’s plaza, the facade of the Church building has the Hail Mary etched in Latin. Along the walls, several images of the Virgin Mary are displayed, donated by various countries. The main entrance has a bronze door with scenes from the life of Christ.
There are two levels in the Church. The lower is where we find the home of Mary as you see in the photo. The altar has a Latin inscription that reads: “Here the Word was made flesh.” It is interesting to note that the Latin word “HIC” for HERE is the first word of this proclamation of faith! Our pilgrim groups have Mass in front of this humble place where the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary and announced that she was to conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38).
The upper level of the Basilica shows various images of our Lady, including Our Lady of Guadalupe. The main sanctuary has a beautiful mosaic of Old & New Testament figures: from Moses and the prophets, to Jesus, Mary and the saints—giving the viewer a “glance” of the history of the Catholic Church! This level is also where the local Catholic community worships every Sunday and where John Paul II celebrated Mass during his visit in 2000. A visit to the Basilica to the Annunciation offers the pilgrim 2,000 years of history!
A visit to this humble home of Mary reminds us of her humility and of her great faith in God! We can visit with Mary now, in prayer. A great way to visit with Mary is by praying the Rosary and meditating on the life of Jesus. John Paul II said, “Praying the Rosary is contemplating the face of Jesus with Mary.” Pray the rosary; let this “spiritual tool” build your relationship with Jesus and His Mother, Mary!
For a complimentary Rosary and pamphlet on how to pray the Rosary, contact us!