A girl kisses an iconostasis in Muharraq Monastery in Asyut - Maher Eskandar
CAIRO – 25 October 2017: The Vatican has recently announced the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt part of Christian pilgrimage; hence our series rediscovering the places where Egyptians have long believed have been blessed by Christ, Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph.
Where the Holy Family went, every step turned into a church, and every burrow and cave into a monastery. Egypt is the heir of this immense heritage of churches and monasteries and preserved it from one generation to the next.
Joseph leads the trip... The Holy Family decides to escape
When Christ was born, King Herod ordered the murder of all the children of Jerusalem, fearing that one of them will inherit his power. The angel appeared to Joseph the Carpenter, and told him in a dream to take the boy and his mother and flee to Egypt, where he shall stay until he is told to leave.
On a small donkey, Mary put her luggage and carried her child in her hands, while Joseph had preceded her on another donkey, and the old Salome at the end of the convoy, each carrying his little luggage.
The convoy crosses the desert of Bethlehem, heading towards the land of Egypt. The Holy Synaxarion says that the Holy Family took a route that was not part of the trade routes between Egypt and Palestine at the time, in fear of Herod's oppression in this flight of escape.
The Rafah desert does not have any traces that can be relied on as indication that the Holy Family stayed there, so the journey in Egypt begins from Farama (Pelusium), east of Port Said. Stay tuned for a story in pictures from Farama as the first stop in Egypt Today's journey.