In Nazareth we are able to share something of the daily life of a typical yet unique Jewish family. We can see a traditional “Spring of Mary”, where she might have gone to fetch water; the ruins of what is thought to be the home of her parents; the house where humanity was transformed, and the cave in which the Angel Gabriel announced that Mary would be the Mother of the Savior.
Friar BRUNO VARRIANO, ofm:
Guardian of the Basilica of the Annunciation
“It is a great joy for us to be able to celebrate the Annunciation here in Nazareth, where Mary recceived the message of an angel to say “Yes,” – a human “yes,” which enabled humanity to share in divinity through the Incarnation of the Word. Coincidentally this year, the Annunciation is celebrated by Latin (or Western) Catholics and by Orthodox Christians on the same day. So for us all, on this holy occasion, the central door of the Basilica of the Annunciation becomes an icon of Mary, through whom divinity was given to the World, and humanity, the new humanity of her Son, to Heaven.
This year the Solmenity of the Annunciation was celebrated on April 9th, following the Octave of Easter, s the feast would otherwise have coincided with Palm Sunday.
The eve of Sunday, April 8th, marked the solemn entry into the basilica of the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriachate of Jerusalem, Bishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa. Vespers were followed by a vigil of adoration in the Grotto of the Annunciation.
His Excellency PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm:
Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
“Mary said “Yes” to a plan she could not fathom, having any idea of what would eventually take place. Yet she accepted a mission that was not her own, yet in which she was to participate. We too must have faith, and take part in God’s plan for the World.
The Mass on the day itself was celebrated in the upper basilica by the Apostolic Administrator, and it ended with a procession, during which gospel accounts of the Annunciation were proclaimed. Also there were the Custos of the Holy Land, Friar Francesco Patton; a Bishop Emeritus of the Patriarchate, Kamal Bathish, and the Archbishop Emeritus of Trento, Luigi Bressan, who is cotributing to a restoration of the grotto, where “The Word was made flesh.”
His Excellency LUIGI BRESSAN:
Archbishop Emeritus of Trento
“We saw that is was essential to contribute to the restoration and preservation of this unique place. For, from the Annunciation onwards, we can say that the history of humanity changed. Here God became Man because here Mary said “Yes” to her mission.
Source: Christian Media Center