Cana Franciscan Wedding Church

Cana Franciscan Wedding Church

Located in the Cana of Galilee, the Cana Franciscan Wedding Church was built on the spot where Jesus performed his first public miracle – changing water into wine at a wedding feast, as described in the Book of John. The current church structure, which is the third one known to be built on the spot, was consecrated in 1883 and can be visited by pilgrims visiting the Holy Land today.

Built with two levels, the church has a stone façade and is decorated with angel figures and two bell towers. The narrow chapel in the upper church has a simple domed roof. Just before the stairs to the lower level is a mosaic from the Byzantine period that acknowledges the name of one of the church’s original donors. On the mosaic fragment, visitors can make out an Aramaic inscription which can be translated as, "In memory of the pious Joseph, son of Tanhum, son of Bota and of his children who made this table, may it be for them a blessing, Amen."

In the lower level of the church, visitors can explore a chapel and a compact museum that displays artifacts unearthed from the site. Artifacts on display include vessels, a cistern covered in plaster, an ancient winepress and one of the six stone water jars that Jesus used for the miracle. Each stone water jar was filled with 20 to 30 gallons of water, prepared for guests to use in the ritual washing of the hands before the wedding meal.

Just opposite the Cana Franciscan Wedding Church is a Greek Orthodox church, although it is not generally open to the public. Nearby, in the village of Kfar Kana, visitors can browse The First Miracle Wine Shop, which sells “wedding wine” along with related souvenirs.

 

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