The angel Gabriel visited Mary in Nazareth to announce that she would become the mother of Jesus, the son of God. This week is the celebration of this announcement -- the Feast of the Annunciation -- and nowhere is it celebrated as it is in the place where it actually happened.
Nazareth, a city with 70,000 residents, will be bustling with activities over the next three days, March 24 and 25.
Christians observe the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, nine months before Christmas. According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred in the sixth month of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist.
The account of the annunciation is in Luke 1:26-38. When Gabriel visited Mary he called her “highly favored one.” Then he told her she would conceive a son and call him Jesus.
“Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?’ The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For everything spoken by God is possible.’ Mary said, ‘Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.’ The angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:35-38)
There is a special mass in Nazareth to commemorate the event, and guided tours from Thursday through Saturday sponsored by the Nazareth Cultural and Tourism Association.
Tours include Mary’s Well Square, the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church, Pilgrims' Route the House of Culture and Art, Alleys of the Old City, painted ceilings, Mary's International Center, the Synagogue Church, the Market, the White Mosque, and finishing with the Basilica of the Annunciation. Tours are 70 shekels a person. For more details on tours, call Nazareth Cultural & Tourism Association 04.601.1072 or email [email protected]
The traditional parade for the Feast of the Annunciation should take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday with Fuad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. On Friday, a Pontifical Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at the Basilica.
While in the city, it is worthwhile to visit Nazareth Village, an attraction that is a complete reconstruction of how the city could have looked and functioned in the time of Jesus.
This article courtesy of Travelujah. Used by permission. Travelujah is the only Christian social network focused on travel to Israel. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah. For further information on Christian tourism to Israel please contact Holy Land Tours - Travelujah”