Hundreds of pilgrims from all over the world visit the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth on the day of the Church's celebration of the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, and the mystery of the Incarnation takes place.
The celebrations began on Sunday with the solemn entrance of the Archbishop of Jerusalem, Mgr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, who presided over the solemn Mass on Monday 25 March together with Mgr. Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar, Mgr. Kamal Bathish, Br. Bruno Varriano, Rector of the Basilica of the Annunciation, Br. Amjad, the parish priest of the Basilica, Fr. Hanna Kildani, Vicar for Israel and a dozen priests from other communities of the Holy Land.
In his homily, Bishop Pizzaballa pointed out the words of the Archangel Gabriel, "Because nothing is impossible to God". We must believe in the dynamics of a God Who desires to intervene in the life of men, as this is the dynamics of faith, of our daily relationship with God".
Ultimately there was the proclamation of the biblical texts describing the incarnation of the Divine Word: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. Through Him all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made.
HE Mgr PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic Administrator Latin Patriarchate
"Nothing is impossible to God. It is hard for us to believe in miracles, to believe that God can intervene, because with technology and human ingenuity we have the impression that we can do everything we want. But we cannot change our hearts, we cannot solve problems in our families. We realize that we need something greater, which only God can give us. Today Mary teaches us that we must say yes to God because only then He can intervene in our lives."
The current Basilica of the Annunciation is the work of the Italian architect Giovanni Muzio and it is the largest Christian shrine in the Middle East. The basilica will celebrate its 50th anniversary from the dedication. In the Shrine, there are many moments for the pilgrims to participate and pray, like the torchlight procession on Saturday.
Br BRUNO VARRIANO, ofm
Rector of the Basilica of the Annunciation
"With the feast of the Annunciation we begin this year, 2019, which is special for us because the Basilica was first dedicated in 1969. That's why it's been 50 years. We have a schedule for many other celebrations. We begin today because it is the day and then, throughout the year we will remember the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the basilica."
F. CRISTIAN VACARU
"They are all my fellow countrymen, they all come from my village in Romania, and they all came: my parents, the mayor, the whole community, with their parish priest. It is a great feast to be on the day of the Annunciation in the place of the Annunciation, to celebrate what we pray every day 3 times a day, the Angelus, "the Word who became flesh". It is a great feast that cannot be described in words."
"It's a beautiful pilgrimage. We are happy to celebrate the Annunciation of the Archangel to the Immaculate. We are happy and for this day we thank the Lord and Father Christian, who led us to "taste" this beautiful feast."
In Nazareth and all over the world, March 25th is the day of the celebration of the manifestation of the "Word who became flesh and dwelt among us".