Holy Land – The builder of a Holy Family

The city of Nazareth is one chaotic city with just one main road running through  it. Named after ( now) St Paul VI who visited the town in 1964 this city is nestled close to the Sea of Galilee. In the city of Nazareth is the Church of the Annunciation built over the home of Mary and the place of the annunciation. This is also the home of Joseph and Jesus who lived here for many years.

Early sources on Nazareth’s history are scarce, but Eusebius says Nazareth was a small Jewish town in the Roman and Byzantine periods. Evidence of Jewish converts to Christianity in Nazareth is provided by the historian Africanus in the 3rd century and pilgrimages to Nazareth are first attested as early as the late 4th century. More recently, archeological digs have found several caves ( used as homes even by Mary and Joseph) within which were found human skeletons going back to 2500 BC to the Canaanite period.

Within the complex of this Church, no more than a hundred odd meters and separated by the Franciscan monastery, is the Church of St. Joseph. It is here that Joseph lived and ran his carpentry workshop. After his marriage to Mary, this would have be the marital home of Mary and Joseph.

The Greek word ‘tekton’, meaning “builder or artisan,” was used to describe Joseph. He most likely worked with both wood and stone. Furthermore, Joseph most likely walked 50 minutes to work every day from Nazareth to Tzippori, a local Roman city that was being rebuilt at the time.

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