Church of the Week: St. Gabriel, Nazareth

St. Gabriel Greek Orthodox Church is located in the center of Nazareth, on the main road, near the well that has served Nazareth for millenia. According to tradition, this was the site of the angel Gabriel's annunciation to the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus.

In the third Century AD a church was built over the springs, following the tradition that the spring was the place of the annunciation. It was later destroyed by the Arab conquest of the 7th C, and rebuilt by the Crusaders in the 12th C. Then it was destroyed again after their defeat (1263). In 1767, St. Gabriel Church was rebuilt on top of the ruins of the Crusader Church. The Crusader's stones around the spring were left intact. The spring is located in the crypt of the church.

Pilgrims today can still drink from the spring that Mary would have used, by means of a cup supplied by the church, as our niece Elissa is doing in the picture above, taken on our 2001 trip to Israel.

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