Thursday, March 24, 2011


Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!

Basilica of Annunciation, Nazareth, built on the foundation of Byzantine and Crusade era churches

Basilica of Annunciation at night

Lintel of the main entrance to the Basilica

The main entrance to the Basilica

An Archangel was sent from heaven to cry “Rejoice!” to the Theotokos; 
and, O Lord, as he saw you taking bodily form
at the sound of his bodiless voice,
he stood still in amazement.

The main sanctuary in front of the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The house of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Verbum Caro Hic Factum Est - Here Word Was Made Flesh

Knowing herself pure, the holy maiden
spoke to Gabriel boldly:
The strange wonder you tell seems hard to my soul,
for you speak of a birth
from a seedless conception, crying aloud: Alleluia!

The upper church in the Basilica

Polish priests celebrate mass in the upper church

The mosaic mural of the upper church

The large stain glass window of the upper church on the narthex side

Side shrine donated by Poland - Our Lady of  Częstochowa

Side shrine donated by France - Sede Sapientiae

Side shrine donated by Mexico - Our Lady of Guadalupe

Side shrine donated by Ukraine - Mosaic icon of annunciation

Then power from the Most High
overshadowed the maiden unto conception;
and her fruitful womb was revealed as a fertile field
to all who wish to reap salvation,
as they sing: Alleluia!

Statue of Our Lady in the court yard

Mosaic icon in the colonnade donated by Greece - Theotokos of Vladimir

Mosaic icon in the colonnade donated by Romania - The Great Panagia
Mosaic in the colonnade donated by Scotland - Sede Sapientiae
Mosaic in the colonnade donated by Malta - Sede Sapientiae
Tile painting donated by the Chinese Church - Our Lady of China

O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity
So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!

Church of Mary's Spring

Façade of the church

Icon of annunciation in Church of Mary's Spring
The bishop's throne
The iconostasis of the Church
Icon of St. George on the iconostasis
Icon of St. John the Baptist on the iconostasis
Icon of Christ on the iconostasis
Icon of the Theotokos on the iconostasis

Icon of annunciation on the iconostasis

Christ the Pantocrator under the main arch

Mural icon of annunciation

Grotto of Mary's Spring
Mary's Spring, where according to legend,  Mary met Archangel Gabriel while  getting some water

As we meditate on the mystery of Word made flesh, let us listen to: 
Today is the beginning

O Victorious Leader