For Christians, the city of Nazareth is important because it is the hometown of Jesus, as well as the location of other holy places , like the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Wall. In this article, you will learn more about holy places that are associated with the Virgin Mary and Jesus.
City of Nazareth, Israel
The Church of the Annunciation is found in modern-day northern Israel and was established at the site where Roman Catholic tradition claims that the Annunciation took place. Greek Orthodox tradition believes that the event took place while Mary was getting water from a local spring in Nazareth.
The first shrine was most likely constructed in mid-4th century. An altar was placed in the cave where Mary lived. Emperor Constantine I commissioned a larger commemoration. The Church of the Annunciation was founded around the same time as the Church of the Nativity (where the birth occurred) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (where the tomb was placed).
It is said that Mary’s Well is positioned at the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and delivered the announcement that she would give birth to the Son of God. This event is referred to as the Annunciation. The well is situated below the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation , where you will find modern-day Nazareth.
According to the New Testament, there is evidence to suggest that Jesus grew up in Nazareth. Many assume that he trained as a carpenter under Joseph, and received a traditional Jewish upbringing.
Lourdes is a holy place that is found in the Midi-Pyrenees region in the south-western part of France. The commune is a small market town surrounded by the foothills of the Pyrenees. Before the Marian apparitions took place, the fortified castle positioned in the center of a rocky escarpment was the most recognized feature of the region. In 1858, Bernadette Soubirous reported to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary in a grotto at Lourdes. Ever since, Catholics have made pilgrimages to the site, where they wish to gain cures for their illnesses and disease. Bernadette Soubirous is now known as St. Bernadette.
After reports that Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Soubirous, she had experienced the visions on 18 different occasions. Roman Catholics travel to Lourdes, hoping to see a miraculous healing. In 2008, the 150th anniversary of the first apparition was commemorated with an outdoor mass that attracted about 45,000 pilgrims.
Other religious sites associated with Jesus and the Virgin Mary includes:
- Bethlehem , the City of David is where Jesus was born in a manger. Mary and Joseph traveled to the city to participate in the Roman census. Angels alerted nearby shepherds of the event and the Three Wise Men arrived to welcome and worship the child.
- Cana , When Jesus performed his first miracle, it took place in a small village near Nazareth called Cana. When he was invited to a wedding, he assisted the host by turning water into wine.
- Jordan River , John the Baptist baptized Jesus on the shores of the Jordan River. It was here that John called Jesus the ‘Lamb of God.’ When Jesus came out of the water, a dove appeared. Later on, he returned to teach at the site.