Why Do Catholics ...?

Did Mary live in a cave, and is that where the Annunciation (which the Church celebrates on March 25) took place?

Since Nazareth is located on a hillside, the residents were accustomed to building partially underground (for the constant temperature such dwellings provide). A common home would be a small structure built attached to a natural cave. This was the case with the home of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents. When one goes to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, there is both an upper church and a lower church, in which there is a small cave. There, you will find a plaque in the floor marking the place of the Incarnation, using the Latin of the Creed, Et verbum caro factum est (“And the Word became flesh”). The outside dwelling still exists, as well, in the Holy House of Loreto in Italy. Archaeological indications suggest its authenticity, whether brought there by ship or by angels (as an ancient Catholic Tradition attests).


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Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.