Even amid the hustle-bustle of the modern city that Nazareth is today, the ancient, tiny village where Jesus grew up can still be found, sometimes where you least expect it.
Old Nazareth can even reveal itself within the imposing complex of the Basilica of the Annunciation – in the Church of St. Joseph. Built in 1914, this church stands over the remains of an earlier house of worship, probably dating from the sixth century. Below the sanctuary you will find caves, likely used in Jesus’ day for the storage of grain, wine and oil. This site marks the traditional home of Joseph and Mary. A baptistery with seven steps is adorned with a mosaic depicting a ladder-like design, perhaps indicating the spiritual ascent of those coming up from the water. Christian visitors are moved when they realize that early Christians may have entered the faith right here, even before any church stood in Nazareth.