16 April 2024 07:02 AM

The Holy family in its Journey to Egypt

Sunday، 22 July 2018 - 05:06 PM
The Holy family in its Journey to Egypt

In the year 1 BC, Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, appeared to a betrothed virgin named Mary, to announce to her the birth of a son named Jesus or Jesus. Of course, the angel realized that her fiancé Joseph the Carpenter would have doubts about this issue, so he also appeared to him and reassured him, and it was clear that the sky was preoccupied with this birth. With these two there appeared a vision of three kings of Persia and told them the news; an angel also appeared to one of the Jewish rabbis and announced the birth of a son to him named John the Baptist (the Prophet Yahiya), and told him that this would be a sign of the birth of Jesus.

And he predicted that this would be a sign of the birth of Jesus, and the Torah was full of ancient prophecies that talk about the details of this birth, its place, about what kings will give to this newborn, about his journey to the land of Egypt, as well as about the king’s madness that will lead to this journey.

In the year zero, orders were issued from Augustus Caesar that every Jew should go to his district in order to be able to make a census, so Joseph the carpenter took his fiancée to Bethlehem (where ancient books predicted that the king would be born there), and since the hotels were full, he had to hibernate in a manger, which is a sign of the humility of the coming king.

On their way, the kings of the East passed by Herod, king of the Jews, and asked him about the birthplace of the child king; He welcomed them and provided them with food and hospitality and performed the duty of hospitality to the fullest. But his heart was troubled with fear for his throne from that newborn child, so he gathered all the chief priests and asked them: "Where is the King of the Jews born?" They told him, according to ancient prophecies, the baby king would be born in Bethlehem.

So he commanded the kings of the East to return to him after they had found the newborn, so that he too would go and prostrate to him in advance of the duty of hospitality.

The kings went to the cowshed and prostrated themselves with the shepherds and presented their gifts “gold”, a symbol of his kingdom, and “dairy”, a symbol of his suffering on earth, to show them the star and take them away from Herod, the king of the Jews

Herod, who is considered one of the most evil kings in history, was so mad that this infant would grow up to take his own, so he ordered the slaughter of every child under two years old; But the angel had appeared to Joseph the carpenter in a dream and told him to take the child and Mary to Egypt, saying: Take the boy and his mother and flee to Egypt, and be there until I tell you, because Herod is about to seek the boy to destroy him, so he rose and took the boy and his mother by night and departed to Egypt, and There to the death of Herod, with these words the Gospel spoke about the journey of Christ and the Virgin Mary to Egypt.

Which turned a new page in its history, and the visit of the Holy Family in Egypt took 3 years. Pope “Theophilus” the 23rd Patriarch in the See of St. Mark in Egypt between 385-412 AD according to the manuscript “Al Mimar” (a Syriac word meaning biography),

The most important main stations in the Holy Family’s journey, starting from “Al-Farma” which was known as “The Belizeum”, which is the city located between the cities of Al-Arish and Port Said today, until Mount Qasqam in Assiut Governorate in Upper Egypt, where they returned again to Palestine after the death of the King Herod.

In more detail, Isaiah the Prophet tells us in his Gospel book about this holy journey, he says: “Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble from his face and the heart of Egypt melts within it.

This is what happened when the Lord Christ entered any city in Egypt, it was Idols fall in temples and break, and people are afraid of this unusual event and are terrified.”

The entry of the Lord Christ into the land of Egypt was a great blessing for its land and its people. Because of it, the Lord said, “Blessed be my people Egypt” (Isaiah 19:25), and because of it, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, which said: “It will be an altar to God in the middle of the land of Egypt. Al Muharraq, where the Holy Family stayed in this place for more than six full months, and the surface of the altar is the stone on which the Savior Child slept.

The monastery of Muharraq is located in the middle of the land of Egypt exactly from all directions, and churches abounded in the land of Egypt and throughout it, especially in the places visited and blessed by the Holy Family.

  Holy Family Path

The Holy Family marched from Bethlehem to Gaza to the Zaranik Protectorate (Flusiyat) 37 km west of Al-Arish, and entered Egypt through the Sinai desert from the northern side of the Farma (Plusium), located between the cities of Al-Arish and Port Said.

The Holy Family entered the city of Tel Basta (Basta) near the city of Zagazig in the Sharkia Governorate, about 100 km from Cairo city  from the north-east, and in it the Lord Jesus Christ springed a spring of water, and the city was full of idols. The city was full of idols, and when the Holy Family entered the city, the idols fell to the ground, so its people mistreated the Holy Family, so the Holy Family left that city and headed  to the south.

 The family left the city of Tel Basta (Basta) heading  to the south until it reached the town of Mostorod - al-Mahma, about 10 km away from the city of Cairo. Mostorod and the Lord Christ, glory be to Him, a spring of water that still exists today.

The family left the city of Tel Basta (Basta) heading south until it reached the town of Mostorod - al-Mahma, about 10 km away from the city of Cairo.The word al-Mahama means the place of bathing, and it was named so because the Virgin Mary protected Christ there and washed his clothes. On the return of the Holy Family, she also passed through Mostorod and the source of Christ, glory be to Him, a spring of water that still exists today.

From Mostorod, it moved north to Belbeis (Phelps), the center of Belbeis, which belongs to the Sharkia Governorate, about 55 km from Cairo. The Holy Family stayed at a tree known as the Virgin Mary tree, and the Holy Family passed by Belbeis as well on its return.

From Bilbeis, the family traveled north-west to the town of Minya Samanoud - Minya Jinnah from Minya Samanoud.

 The Holy Family crossed the Nile River to the city of Samanoud (Jamanuti - Zabt Nather) inside the delta, and its people welcomed them well, so they were blessed by what they are said to be the great stone of Christ.

The Virgin Mary kneaded it while she was there. There is also a well of water that the master himself blessed. From the city of Samanoud, the Holy family traveled north-west to the Burullus region until it reached the city of (Sakha - Khast - Bekha Isos) currently in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate.

The foot of Christ appeared on a stone and from it she took The city is called Coptic, and this stone was hidden for a long time for fear of being stolen in some eras, and this stone was discovered again only about 13 years ago.

And if the Holy Family had taken the natural route while traveling from the side of Samanoud to the city of Sakha, it must have passed through many countries belonging to the Gharbia Governorate and Kafr El-Sheikh, and some say that it crossed on its way in the wilds of Belqas. ) to the west of the delta and moved south to Wadi al-Natrun (Skeet) and Jesus and his virgin mother blessed this place.

 From Wadi al-Natrun, it traveled south towards the city of Cairo and crossed the Nile River to the eastern side, heading towards Matariya and Ain Shams.

 The area of ​​Al-Matareya, which is near Ain Shams (Heliopolis - On) and is about 10 km away from the city of Cairo. At this time, Ain Shams was inhabited by a large number of Jews and they had a temple called the Unias Temple.

 In Matariya, the Holy Family took shelter under a tree known today as the Tree of Mary. And the Lord Jesus poured out a spring of water and drank from it and blessed it.

Then the Virgin Mary washed the clothes of the baby Jesus and poured the water on the ground, so an aromatic plant with a beautiful smell grew in that spot, known as the balsam plant.

 They add it to the types of perfumes and spices from which the Holy Myron is made.

The Holy Family walked towards ancient Egypt, and the Holy Family rested for a while in olive trees on its way to ancient Egypt.

 On her way from Zaytoun to ancient Egypt, she passed the area where the ancient church of the Virgin Mary is located in Harat Zuweila, as well as the celibacy of Klut Bey.

 And the Holy Family arrived in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian region is considered one of the most important areas and stations that the Holy Family visited on its journey to the land of Egypt, and there are many churches and monasteries.

 This area was blessed with the presence of the Holy Family, and the Holy Family was unable to stay there for only a few days due to the destruction of idols, which aroused indignation, and to Fustat, he wanted to kill the boy Jesus.

 The Church of St. Sergius (Abu Serga) contains the cave (the cave) in which the Holy Family took refuge and is considered one of the most important landmarks of the Holy Family in ancient Egypt.

 The Holy Family departed from the ancient Egyptian region heading to the south, where it reached the Maadi region, one of the suburbs of Memphis - the capital of ancient Egypt.

 It took off in a sailboat in the Nile heading towards the south, the country of Upper Egypt, from the spot where the Church of the Virgin Mary, known as Al-Adawiya, because from it the Holy Family crossed (returned) to the Nile on its journey to Upper Egypt, and from it came the name of Maadi.

Also ,the stone ladder on which the Holy Family descended is still on a bank .The Nile is there and has a shrine that opens from the churchyard

Among the strange events that occurred at this church is that on Friday, March 12, 1976 AD, the Bible was found open on the book of Isaiah the Prophet, chapter 19-25, blessed my people of Egypt, floating on the surface of the water in the area facing the church from the waters of the Nile.

The sacred village of Deir Al-Jarnus (Arganos) at a distance of 10 km west of Ashneen Al-Nasara - Maghagha Center.

 Next to the western wall of the Church of Our Lady, there is a deep well, according to tradition, that the Holy Family drank from it . The Holy Family passed on a spot called Abay Issos (House of Jesus) east of Bahsana, and its place is now the village of Sandfa (Bani Mazar) and the current village of Al-Bahnasa is located at a distance of 17 km west of Bani Mazar.

 The family moved from the town of Al-Bahnasa to the south to the town of Samalut, from which they crossed the Nile to the east, where the monastery of the Virgin Mary is now located in Jabal Al-Tair (Achores) east of Samalut.

This monastery is located about 2 km south of the Bani Khaled ferryboat, where the family settled in the cave in the ancient church.

It is known as the mountain of birds because thousands of buggers gather there.

It is also called Jabal al-Kaf, where the Coptic tradition states that the Holy Family is next to the mountain - a large rock from the mountain almost fell on them, so the Lord Jesus stretched out his hand and prevented the rock from falling, but it refused and his palm was imprinted on the rock.

On the way, it passed a high ficus tree (laurel tree) at a distance of 2 km south of Jabal al-Tair next to the road next to the Nile, and the mountain that connects from Jabal al-Tair to Nazlat Ubayd to the new Minya Bridge.The earth then rises again with green leaves and is called the abid tree.

 The Holy Family leaves from the Jabal al-Tair region and crossed the Nile from the eastern side to the western side and headed towards the Ashmunites (the second Ashmoun).

And many miracles happened in this town, and its idols fell, and the Holy Family blessed the Ashmonites.

The Holy Family moved from the Ashmonites and headed south about 20 km towards Dayrut Sharif Phyllis. Then it departed from Dayrut Sharif to the village of Qusqam (Qoust Qusiya), where their idol fell and was destroyed, so its people expelled them outside the city, and this city became a ruin.

 The Holy Family flees from the village of Qusqam and heads towards the town of Mir Mirah, located 7 km west of Qusiya. The people of Mir honored the Holy Family while they were in the town and were blessed by the Lord Jesus and the Lady.

 From Meer, traveled to Mount Qusqam, where there is now the Monastery of Muharraq. This area of ​​the Monastery of Muharraq is one of the most important stations where the Holy Family settled, until the place was called the Second Bethlehem.

 This monastery is located at the foot of the western mountain known as Jabal Qasqam, in reference to the city that was destroyed, and it is about 12 km west of the town of Al-Qusiya in Assiut Governorate, 327 km south of Cairo.

 The Holy Family stayed for about six months and ten days in the cave, which later became the structure of the ancient Church of the Virgin Mary on the western side of the monastery.

 The altar of this church is a large stone on which Jesus sat.

In this monastery, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up, take the boy and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, because those who were seeking the same boy have died.”

On their way back, they took another path that deviated from them to the south a little, until Mount Assiut, known as Mount Drunka, and blessed by the Holy Family, where a monastery was built in the name of the Virgin Mary, located at a distance of 8 km southwest of Assiut. Then they reached ancient Egypt, then Matariya, then Mahama, and from there to Sinai, then Palestine, where Saint Joseph and the Holy Family lived in the village of Nazareth in Galilee.

 Thus, the journey of suffering ended, which lasted for more than three years back and forth, in which they traveled a distance of more than two thousand kilometers, and their only means of transportation was a weak ride, sometimes near the ships in the Nile. A place, and it was an arduous journey in every sense of the word, which Jesus carried as a child with his virgin mother and Saint Joseph with joy for us

 Meaning and evidence:

-Egypt is an oasis of security and the cradle of religions

 Egypt has been known since the dawn of history as an oasis of security and safety, the home of civilizations and the cradle of religions. A good example of this is its embrace of many Old Testament prophets; Among them are Abraham; Jacob; the Prophet Moses ; who was educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians and Yusuf al-Siddique, who came to Egypt in the days of Pharaoh until he became a minister.  we find  also the greatest example that Egypt was followed by the prophets and saints is the journey of the Holy Family, and the Holy Family walked in the country from end to end to bless it, to destroy paganism with its idols and to plant a blessed spiritual planting that will last with time.

The University of Cologne in Germany published for the first time an archaeological papyrus dating back to the fourth century AD, which talks about the period of the presence of Jesus and the Holy Family in Egypt.

 Confirming that Jesus Christ childhood lasted for three years and eleven months.

The papyrus was written in the Fayumi Coptic dialect. One of the important sources also confirms that the papyrus blessing has come to Egypt and that the month of Bashans is the most blessed month of the year.

Therefore, we find that the Coptic Church celebrates on the twenty-fourth day of it - which corresponds to June 1 - every year, the anniversary of the entry of the Holy Family into Egypt.

-Egypt is a country of peace

The Holy Family’s journey to Egypt carries many meanings and values ​​that everyone should possess, the most important of which is that Egypt is a country of peace and tranquility, and that Christ’s journey in it filled its regions with blessings.

All the monotheistic religions confirmed that Egypt is an oasis of safety.

The great lesson of this journey is to imitate these great men in their simple way of living and their affection for people.

Egypt is the land of coexistence and hospitality, the land of meeting, history, civilization and peace. It is the land blessed through the ages with the precious blood of the righteous and the martyrs. It is where Saint Joseph;the Virgin Mary; the baby Jesus and many of the prophets lived

It is also said that the idols trembled at that time during the reign of the Romans from the prestige of Jesus, and the earth under their feet shook and tilted with its weight of stone, breaking and breaking before the feet of the boy who came to Egypt.

 Historians narrated this incident during the Romans rule of and they said: “The idols were broken before his appearance in front of them, and the prairies became impoverished from their demons, and the hearts of the priests of the idols melted in fear and panic.

During the flight of the Holy Family from one town to another, some Egyptians believed in Jesus, but he was finding hatred and enmity from some of them and from the priests and servants of idols because they lost their livelihood; His blessing descended on the first, and his prestige descended on the others. Just as the statue of Dagon was destroyed in front of the holy ark of the covenant, the statues fell at the coming of Jesus, so they could not face his presence.

-Egypt’s civilization and humanity

This trip carries with it civilized, historical and cultural connotations and meanings. It also carries noble human concepts.

The historical meanings are that it carries a great human heritage that belongs to every human being, and he was appalled that this historical and heritage event took place in Egypt which represents the heart of the world.

The religious and spiritual meaning was represented in the biblical dimension, as there were texts about it in the New Testament, and prophecies about it in the Old Testament.

There is also an archaeological dimension and reality. There are still traces confirming the coming of the Holy Family to the land of Egypt, including monasteries; ancient churches; temples; archaeological altars; religious caves; rocks, stones; wells and trees. These relics extend along the country located on the itinerary, in addition to archaeological icons; manuscripts; art pieces; ancient monasteries and ancient churches.

There is also a civilized dimension that represents part of the Egyptian identity and touches the historical dimension.

 The journey of the Holy Family in the land of Egypt is one of the basic components of the Egyptian Coptic civilization.

 Egypt’s land importance have been increased among the world because it is the land of kindness that has provided protection and embraced the Holy Family since the early days of history.

God’s faith has been built in Egypt in most of Holy Family, path monasteries and churches were built. It has been also carried wonderful human values ​​represented in love, peace and coexistence on the land of Egypt.

 The National Project of Holy Family path

The Egyptian government is working to overcome all obstacles to the national project to revive the path of the Holy Family, as the path of the Holy Family is an important one as a tourist sites, especially religious tourism. Considering that Holy family path is one of the historical religious destinations. This has been done according to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi directives.

25 Archaeological sites developed

The project’s executive plan aims to develop 25 archaeological sites that include the archaeological areas in which the Holy Family walked and lived in the governorates during its trip to Egypt, and to discuss and overcome any obstacles standing in the way of implementing the project, in addition to presenting each governorate with its vision regarding development during the coming period, and its needs to be put into the executive plan.

 The importance of the project

- It is considered one of the most important national projects that bring goodness to Egypt, and be given the attention of the state and all concerned parties to stimulate religious tourism, support the Egyptian economy, provide job opportunities and develop infrastructure.

 -It is worth noting that an entity will be established responsible for supervising the implementation of all the works required to develop the Holy Family’s path, including representatives from the Ministries of Tourism and Antiquities, the Church and the House of Representatives, and supervising the periodic maintenance work for these areas.

 -The project is divided into several phases, and includes the experimental operation phase of five archaeological sites in the governorates of Cairo and Beheira, namely the Abu Serga Church in Old Egypt, the Church of the Virgin in Maadi, and the three monasteries of Wadi El-Natrun (Monastery of Al-Syrian - Al-Baramos - Al-Anbaa Bishoy).

-The first phase also includes the monasteries of Jabal Al-Tair and Muharraq and Dranka in the governorates of Minya and Assiut.

 -The second phase also includes the rest of the governorates of the track such as Tal Basta in Sharkia, Sakha in Kafr El-Sheikh and Samanoud in Gharbia.

-The Holy Family path is not just a tourism project, but an integrated urban axis, as the expected positive effects of it include the development of poor and marginalized communities along the route, by providing micro and small job opportunities, after the manufacturers and craftsmen in the local community are trained in the production of tourism goods.

 -The benefits are also significant tourism income, and development of urban communities that serve the local population, as well as visitors as there will be new roads, as well as beautification of the areas surrounding these sites along the path of the Holy Family’s journey, which extends for 3,500 km (round trip), and includes the development of 25 An urban site from North Sinai in the east of the country to Central Egypt at Assiut.

  -The Egyptian state is keen to open the path of the Holy Family in a manner worthy of the Egypt’s name and a high-level international presence and major religious, cultural and political figures after completing all stages of the infrastructure of the project and preserving what has been accomplished in all governorates during the past period, which must continue and be done according to the specific timings so that the various governorates of the Republic will finish as soon as possible all the work identified in the tracks of different project.

  Tourism Development Authority has been assigned to continue studying the optimal method for developing programs for the promotion of route points and to discuss the establishment of a company to manage the project.

  It was also agreed that the Urban Coordination Agency would be a general advisory for the project.

All state agencies participating in this huge project agreed to give more attention to improve the project outputs to coincide with the opening with an important religious occasion in the coming months.

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