Intention is powerful. I hadn’t planned to focus particularly on Mary of Nazareth on this pilgrimage—though I am a longtime fan—but something about that small statue under the chapel altar caught my soul’s attention. Then May 1 we visited a church dedicated to St. Anne, Mary’s mother (and Jesus’ grandmother, earning it the nickname “Granny Annie’s”.) Our guide pointed out this icon of Mary, Anne, and Joachim (her father).
Yesterday at the Israel Museum, we saw these first-century water jars, the kind that would have held the 20-30 gallons of water apiece at that wedding in Cana, when Mary told her son, “They have no wine.”
And today sitting inside the beautiful sanctuary of the desert monastery of St. Gerasimos, I looked up and there she was again, in this icon of the flight to Egypt.
Tomorrow we head to Ein Kerem, the traditional hometown of John the Baptist (where Mary visited his mother Elizabeth), and Bethlehem, where, well, you know.