Church of Saint Joseph

Nazareth – The Church of Saint Joseph

According to Christian tradition, in addition to the basilica of the Annunciation, the Church of Saint Joseph is also in Nazareth. The sanctuary is called the Church of the Nutrition because Jesus lived and grew up here until he was an adult, learning his father’s trade.

“O Joseph, you just and holy man, intercede for us with the Lord Jesus. You, the Spouse of the Virgin Mary, beg her maternal tenderness for everyone who prays to her, the Mother of our Savior.” Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444), Franciscan.

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages in the Holy Land.

See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world.

The Christian tradition

From the account of the pilgrim Arculfo (670 BC), we know that at Nazareth “two large churches were built: one in the middle of the city, founded over two arches, the place where the house in which our Savior grew up was built and the other on the site off the house where the angel Gabriel came to Blessed Mary and, finding her alone, spoke to her.” In the 17th century, Father Francesco Quaresmi describes a place “that the locals call Joseph’s House and Workshop where, for a time, there was a beautiful church dedicated to Saint Joseph.”

The apocryphal “Story of Joseph the Carpenter” narrates the death and interment of Jesus’ foster father, describing how Jesus himself helped and comforted him at the moment that he passed out of this life. We also know that some of Jesus’ relatives remained at Nazareth, according to the history of the Judaeo-Christian Hegesippus (II cent. AD), reported in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caeserea: “Of the Lord’s family, there remain the nephews of Judah, the brother according to the flesh, who were denounced as belonging to the lineage of David. It can be supposed that these “relatives of the Lord” played a not inconsiderable part in the conservation of the Christian memory of Nazareth.

There are direct buses from Jerusalem to Nazareth every day (except Saturday), which leave from the central bus station.  If you need to reach Nazareth earlier in the day, you can take an indirect route by taking a bus to Afula from Jerusalem and then taking a local bus to Nazareth from Afula.

Judeo-Christian baptismal font (or Jewish ritual bath)

The site was acquired by the Franciscans in 1754 and the present church was built over the ruins of the ancient one in 1914 by Brother Wendelin Hinterkeuser. During the work, grottoes, cisterns, parts of primitive habitations and a bath with steps that was probably an ancient ritual bath or baptismal font were discovered.

The Christian tradition

From the account of the pilgrim Arculfo (670 BC), we know that at Nazareth “two large churches were built: one in the middle of the city, founded over two arches, the place where the house in which our Savior grew up was built and the other on the site off the house where the angel Gabriel came to Blessed Mary and, finding her alone, spoke to her.” In the 17th century, Father Francesco Quaresmi describes a place “that the locals call Joseph’s House and Workshop where, for a time, there was a beautiful church dedicated to Saint Joseph.”

The apocryphal “Story of Joseph the Carpenter” narrates the death and interment of Jesus’ foster father, describing how Jesus himself helped and comforted him at the moment that he passed out of this life. We also know that some of Jesus’ relatives remained at Nazareth, according to the history of the Judaeo-Christian Hegesippus (II cent. AD), reported in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caeserea: “Of the Lord’s family, there remain the nephews of Judah, the brother according to the flesh, who were denounced as belonging to the lineage of David. It can be supposed that these “relatives of the Lord” played a not inconsiderable part in the conservation of the Christian memory of Nazareth.

Posted in The Holy Land