The richly-coloured blue and gold mosaic of the Annunciation soaring six metres or more towards the roof of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth was a perfect backdrop for a photo opportunity as Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP escorted teachers of the Archdiocese of Sydney on a pilgrimage through the Holy Land this week.
Archdiocese of Sydney educational leaders pose with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP in front of the mosaic of the Annunication donated by the Church in Australia to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The visit was just one stop on a pilgrimage led by the Archbishop.“The Angelus will never be the same for us,” Archbishop Fisher blogged.
In Nazareth the Archbishop and Catholic school leaders visited the Basilica where a cave is traditionally regarded as the focal point of Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).
In the Basilica the group took time for reflection and prayer and were photographed in front of the mosaic which was originally donated by the Church in Australia.
A Mass at Mt Tabor where Christ was Transfigured was another highlight.
There, Archbishop and pilgrims reflected together on Christ as “Light from light, true God from true God” and what it means for disciples to be mirrors reflecting that light to others.
The group also prayed at the site traditionally regarded as Mary’s house where, from the Christian point of view the central event of history, the Incarnation, took place.
“We have so much to be grateful for,” wrote Archbishop Fisher.
However, there was one somber backdrop aspect to the pilgrimage as Archbishop Fisher noted that Christians are increasingly being driven out of the area.
Pilgrims also visited a shrine to St Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death.