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The Church of the Visitation honors the visit paid by the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. (Luke 1:39–56). This is the site where tradition tells us that Mary recited her song of praise, the Magnificat. The courtyard contains a statue of Mary and Elizabeth, and on the wall opposite the entrance to the lower church are forty two ceramic tablets bearing the verses of the Magnificat in as many different languages. On the facade of the upper church is a striking mosaic commemorating the Visitation. The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land purchased the plot of land with the ruined Crusader complex in 1679 and began reconstruction of the lower level of the church in 1862. Design and construction of the upper level of the structure began in 1938 and was completed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi in 1955.