The Franciscan Convent: . . .and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses. (Leviticus 10:11)
Upon permission from the Monks.
This large convent sits next to the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth on Casa Nova Street. As the name suggests, this church was built by the Franciscan order of monks. In fact, in the lower section of this convent houses a permanent collection of pictures showing the early days of the church and convent as the Franciscans regained possession and made it what it is today.
The Franciscan Convent in Nazareth is quite important for numerous reasons. This convent houses about 30 monks from all over the world. What’s more is that the Catholic Church has located its community court of law there, as well. Probably most notable of this edifice’s accolades is that the Franciscan Convent houses a Terra Sancta.
Terra Sanctas are schools started in Israel-Palestine by the Franciscan order. In an attempt to provide educated citizens to greet and interact with the pilgrims to the Holy Land, the Franciscans began to educate the citizens in languages (Italian, French and English). Not only that, but the local youth were also taught about the Catholic religion. Beginning in the 16th century, the Franciscans and the Catholic Church as a whole ran very reputable schools throughout the Holy Lands. In 1645, the terra Sancta at the Franciscan Convent was established. Due to a difficult political environment, little is said about the terra sancta schools. However, by 1840 the Franciscan Convent was again educating local boys at its terra sancta.
The Franciscan Convent History:
The Franciscans were given custody of the land housing the convent in 1620 by Druze Emir Fakr ad-Din. It was used primarily for housing pilgrims traveling through the land Jesus walked. This was the church’s main goal until the 19th century. There was even a special wing built for travelers.
In its past, this church looked like a fortress. The Franciscan Convent was the only apothecary in Nazareth until the 19th century. Thus, it spread the gospel of Jesus by pragmatically helping those in the surrounding community. The walls protected the monks from any of the schemers in the local vicinity.