Our day began with a visit to Sepphoris, which Josephus called “the ornament of Galilee.” This extensive archeological site is located in the central Galilee region of Israel, northwest of Nazareth, overlooking the Beit Netofa Valley. Sepphoris holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic and Ottoman influences. In late Christian tradition it was believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus, and the village where Saints Anna and Joachim are often said to have resided.
Following lunch in Nablus, we traveled to the eastern outskirts of the city to Jacob’s Well. A Greek Orthodox Church is built around the well, which is the site of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4). The church was built through the work of Father Justinos, who also painted the icons throughout the site. Our group had the opportunity to meet the priest and gather with him at the well, located in the crypt of the church.
As we have done with each biblical site, a scripture was read and a reflection presented by students and alums.