Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nazareth

When our group left the bus to discover Nazareth two Suwar from the Holy Quraan on two panels set the tone. You will certainly know that Muslims regard Jesus as one of their prophets starting with Abraham, and his descendants Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob. Moses and Jesus are also mentioned in Sura 2:136 cited on the big panel.

Muslim attempt of a conversion
The second smaller panel insists on the fact that Islam is the only straight, unaltered religion: Say, O people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) come to a word that is just between us and you, that we just worship God alone, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall worship others as Lords besides Allah. But if they (Jews and Christians) turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (Sura 3:6)

Our more permanent looks, however, went up to the dome of the Basilica of the Annunciation barely visible in the upper left corner of the above photo.

A look into the spectacular dome of the Basilica of the Annunciation
This impressive new church from 1969 replaces earlier buildings of Byzantine and later Crusader times. The church is run by the Franciscans and enjoys, according to Catholic canon law, the status of a basilica minor.

Entering from the front

A side view
The building complex is surrounded by a wall covered on the inner side by devotional pictures donated by many nations.

St. Mary in the Court
Most of these images present St. Mary with the Child although the sanctuary was erected above her home where the Angel had announced that she would be pregnant with Jesus.

Germany's ceramic attempt: Patronia Germaniae

Greek icon style
Only the Philippines represented this decisive event for Christendom as it should be.

Hail Mary, full of grace ...
While waiting in front of the church the pilgrim is entertained by the Christian salvation history on the door. Starting in the upper left corner and running anti-clockwise he will see: Jesus's birth, the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, Jesus helping his father in Nazareth doing carpentry, Jean baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River, Jesus preaches in Kapharnaum, Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection.

On the Christian salvation history

Approaching the grotto of annunciation standing in line
Verbum caro hic factum est
Next we visited nearby St. Joseph Church. According to recent discoveries Jesus of Nazareth was not a carpenter's son but his "father" Joseph should have been a stonemason. This, however, is not yet reflected in the presentation of the Holy Family outside of the church.

The Holy Family

This big rubber tree disguises the look unto St Joseph Church
Inside the church a small glass window shows a rare presentation: Mary and Jesus at Joseph's deathbed.

Joseph's death
Archaeologists keep digging out Jesus's house.

More and deeper digging
They lately discovered a beautiful mug. Jesus's mug?

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