Today we went to Nazareth and the Church of the Annunciation. The Church of the Annunciation is built on what is believed to be the house Mary grew up in. It was in this house that she was visited by the angel Gabriel. Before entering the church, we looked at different depictions of Mary from around the world.
As we prayed the Hail Mary I was overcome with emotion. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I looked at these images of Mary and prayed this prayer that is so ingrained into my heart. As most of you know I was raised Roman Catholic and still hold a devotion to Mary, the God-bearer. It felt unreal to be so close to where she grew up, so close to where she learned she would be a mother, so close to where she boldly said YES to God.
Upon entering the church, I stopped listening to our course leader and instead went to get a closer look at what is called the Grotto of the Annunciation (her house). I wanted to pray but felt like I needed to move away from the action a little bit. I found a spot to kneel in prayer away from the hustle of the other pilgrims.
I prayed in thanksgiving for the mother’s in my life (my mom, Rob’s mom, my sisters Erika & Jaimie, my grandmothers, my best friends who have become mothers) and for the church, mother to us all. I prayed for those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. And I prayed with utmost gratitude for Jesus’ mother Mary.