Nazareth is a town in Galilee, about 18 miles west of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. It was there the angel Gabriel came to the Virgin Mary and announced that she would give birth to Jesus. Joseph and Mary left Nazareth for Bethlehem to take part in the census as degreed by Emperor Augustus.
Some time after the birth of Jesus, the family returned to Nazareth. Jesus grew up there while Joseph worked as a carpenter. Jesus left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum after John the Baptist had been arrested. Jesus always remained associated with the town and was called the "Nazarene," and "Jesus Christ of Nazareth."
From the 4th century onwards, churches were built on the sites which were connected with Jesus, Joseph and the Virgin Mary.
The present Basilica (called the Church of the Annunciation) was completed in 1969, and is the 5th church built on the spot where it is believed that the angel Gabriel stood when he told the Virgin Mary that she would conceive a child. The population of Nazareth today is a mixture of Christians, Moslems and Jews.
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