"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin`s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
(Luke, Chapter 1, 26-33).
The Basilica of the Annunciation is one of the greatest shrines in the Christian world.
According to the Christian tradition, the grotto located on the ground floor or lower of the Basilica, is the exact spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary announcing that she was to be the "Mother of Jesus" the Son of God.
In front of the Grotto is the main altar, which formed part of the 4-h century Byzantium church marked by the red terrazzo flooring. To the right of the altar would have been apse of the Byzantium church. In the background are the former walls of the Crusader Church.
The great dome of the Basilica is designed like an inverted lily with 16 petals inscribed inside with the letter M for Mary. Its room is facing toward God and its opening, shadows the Grotto below where the Incarnation took place, symbolizing God`s graces coming down upon mankind.
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