We spent today in Nazareth. What a deep blessing to be back here with a bunch of new friends to show around my favourite place.
We began with a brief visit to the Basilica of the Annunciation, before moving just a few metres north to the Sisters of Nazareth Convent where we spent an hour or so exploring the underground excavations: the Holy Cave, the first-century Cave House, and the intact tomb with rolling stone, preparation chamber, and three burial shafts. Here we are before going down below the Convent:
After that we went through the Souk (the Old Markets) to visit the Synagogue Church which happens to be alongside the Melkite church in Nazareth. Our guide, Abu Ibrahim, is from the Melkite community here, so this is his church.
From there we continued through the Souk until we came to El Babour Galilee Spice Mill, where we were welcomed and entertained by the generous Tony Kanaza.
After visiting this church we had around two hours free time for people to explore the city by themselves, buy lunch from local vendors, and shop for gifts. I think was a very special part of the day. We then went to Mt Precipice, which offers panoramic views of the Jezreel Valley:
From there we went to Nazareth Village with its reconstructions of first-century village life in the Galilee. As always, “Joseph” the village carpenter was one of the highlights with his first-century skills and tools:
We ended the day with a visit to the Nazareth office of Sabeel, where we met with several members of the committee and had an opportunity to learn firsthand of their work.