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Cana & Nazareth

As we move closer to the end of our time in the Holy Land, we have two more important stops in Galilee. We leave the area of the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, where Jesus spent most of His public ministry, and we head to Lower Galilee where Jesus spent most of childhood and rearing. 

Cana 

We first visit Cana, the city Jesus, His mother Mary, and His disciples went to attend a wedding (John 2:1-12). We stop at a church built over the traditional place where the miracle at Cana happened.

Picture: A 1st century stone jar that can hold 20-30 gallons of water. At the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water inside stone jars like this into wine. This was His first public miracle (John 2:1-12).

Picture: Msgr. Lofton gives a special blessing and renewal of vows for all our married pilgrims in a chapel at Cana.

Nazareth 

We leave Cana and arrive in Nazareth. We stop at an ancient spring or well that was the only source of water in Nazareth for centuries. We know Mary was here because this is where she would go to collect water for her family. As a young boy Jesus most likely went with His Mother to the well too. 

Picture: The only local well or spring in Nazareth. It used to have continuous running water until a few years ago. The Greek Orthodox tradition believes the Angel Gabriel appeared to young Mary here to announce the coming of the Messiah.

We turned from Mary's Well and walked uphill into Nazareth. During Jesus' time, Nazareth was a small village of 40-50 families so everyone knew each other. Early Christians quickly identified where Mary lived and where the Holy Family lived in the small village.

Picture: Inside the house of the Holy Family where Jesus grew up and where St. Joseph's workshop was located. Early Byzantine Christians built chapels inside this home. Behind the altar we see St. Joseph dying in the arms of Jesus and Mary. We hope to die in this way too.

Picture: A Baptismal font from a Byzantine chapel built inside the home of the Holy Family. There are seven steps for the seven sacraments leading to the baptismal water.

We leave the house of the Holy Family and go up the street to the home of Mary, where the Roman Catholic tradition believes the Annunciation took place. 

Picture: The Church of the Annunciation is built over Mary's home where the Angel appeared to her and Jesus was conceived. At the top of church's dome is a light like a light house, symbolizing that Christ is the Light of the World.

Picture: Above the main doors to the Church of the Annunciation, we see the inscription: VERBUM CARO FACTUM EST ET HABITAVIT IN NOBIS.

"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14)

 

Pictures: Inside the Church of the Annunciation, built in the 20th century. The dome ceiling is shaped like an inverted lily with its roots coming down from Heaven.

Picture: On the floor below the main altar of the Church of the Annunciation is an old chapel built in the place identified as the place the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38).

 

Mount Tabor

We leave the town of Nazareth and head back to our ship to follow St. Paul's last journey from Israel to Rome where he was martyred. On our way we see Mt. Tabor near Nazareth. Mount Tabor is the place tradition identifies as the mountain where the Transfiguration of Jesus took place in front of His disciples (Matthew 17:1-8)

Picture: Mt. Tabor in the distance.

We are now ready to leave the Holy Land and head to Rome. Thank you for following our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We are praying for you! May God bless you always and in all ways. 

 

 

 

 

Holy Land Pilgrimage

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Follow Msgr. Lofton's group pilgrimage to the Holy Land: October 19th - November 4th.


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