Nazareth is the town in Lower Galilee where Yeshua grew up. Here the Sacred family worked its way in a humble house. Here Yeshua went to the Synagogue to study the Torah and the Prophets, to Praise the Father.
Here he worked with his own hands as a carpenter. From here he went to Jerusalem every year on the Jewish feasts of pilgrimage. And it is from here that he went to the Judean desert to start his public ministry and proclaim the "Good News".
Yeshua returned to his hometown Nazareth and, as he did for all the years he lived in town, on Saturday, he went to the synagogue. But his own people were hostile to him, they did not accept one of the town's children. They wanted to throw him from over the cliff! And Yeshua left his hometown never again to set foot there.
After his Death and Resurrection in Jerusalem the people of Nazareth kept alive the tradition of the house where the Annunciation took place. A site of such importance could not remain unknown to the early Christians and above all to the next of kin of the Lord, of Mary and Joseph. It is thanks to them that today we can visit Nazareth and bow in silence to hear the "voice" announcing "Hail Mary". It is thanks to them that you can kneel down and in silence meditate about the great "mystery of love" that evolved on and around the unknown town.
Today Nazareth, political and administrative capital of Galilee, is a busy town with a population made up of Christians and Moslems. On the outskirts of the historic town a "New Nazaret" (Nazareth Illit) has grown. Dominating the skyline of this low-lying town is the dome over the site of the Annunciation, a gem of architecture which the Franciscans, through the generous help of the Christians from all over the world has put up to mark this holy place.
Nazareth is where Yeshua spent his childhood, is situated in the Galilian hills overlooking the Jezreel valley. Its winding, cobbled lanes, churches, convents and monasteries, and the all-pervading sense of history vividly conjure up the story of 2000 years ago when Joseph, heeding the angel’s words, “took the young child and his mother ... and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth” (Matthew 2:21-23). Yeshua spent his childhood here, though the gospels give no description of these formative years.
Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament and only archaeological evidence points to a village inhabited during the First Temple period.
Its Jewish community was almost wiped out by the Romans during the Jewish revolt. Later, with the strengthening the Roman Empire, the number of Christians grew. From the fourth century, churches were built on the sites which were connected with Yeshua and the Virgin Mary. Today, the population consists of Christians, represented by several denominations, Moslems and Jews. There are many churches, monasteries, convents, hostels and schools.
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