We go to Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle – turning water into wine at a wedding. It must have been a family wedding as outsiders would not normally have interfered in a wedding celebration. We walk up some narrow alleys and come upon a small church. We enter the chapel. Marie and I renew our wedding vows with 5 other couples in a ceremony led by Bishop Sylvain and Fr Susai. It is a magical experience and we feel renewed and very grateful.
As we head back to the bus, there is visible litter in the gutters and on vacant properties. We feel somewhat deflated as our concept of Jewish and Muslim culture is one of purity and cleanliness. Hey, this is the realty of city life almost everywhere these days.
We drive up a ridge to Sephoris – it is a Roman town that was the capital of Galilee in Jesus time. Strangely, it is not mentioned in the Bible, but Jesus must have been here as it is next to Nazareth. A monastery is built here in honour of the Virgin Mary who some believe was from here.
We walk down the main street of the town to see the remains of houses, some with beautiful mosaic floors. It is raining lightly. We tour a 2nd century CE Roman mansion. Also a beautiful 4th century Roman/Byzantine period synagogue.
In the PM we go to Nazareth Village. It is an authentically restored village as Jesus would have lived in. We meet a shepherd, a carpenter, a weaver, an olive press operator and others as we are led thru the outdoor village. Our tour guide is very entertaining and we learn a lot about what it was like to live in Nazareth at Jesus time.
We finish with Mass at the Basilica of Nazareth that is built over the house of Mary where the visitation occurred. There are large panels from each country depicting their dedication to the Virgin Mary, including Canada. We also visit the Church of St. James where St Joseph is venerated.
As we leave a Polish Mass gets underway.
Buffet dinner follows at our hotel. We are all feeling good, tired but nourished.