The Holy Family in Egypt
|Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.|
"Take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word" (Matthew 2:13 - KJV)
"Out of Egypt I called my son" (Hosea 11:1 - RSV)
"The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it." (Isaiah 19:1 - KJV)
"In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD." (Isaiah 19:19 - KJV)
"Blessed be Egypt my people" (Isaiah 19:25 - KJV)
According to the Scripture, Jesus Christ lived in Palestine, and the only other country he travelled to (as a young child) was Egypt. The Holy Family, throughout their stay in Egypt, which lasted for about three-and-half years, moved through many towns in Upper and Lower Egypt.
Many of the details of the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt are chronicled in a Mimar (manuscript) by Pope Theophilus, 23rd Patriarch of Alexandria (384-412 A.D.), who received these details during an apparition of the Holy Virgin Mary. Other sources of information include accounts by 2nd and 3rd century Greek and Jewish writers/philosophers/historians.
Many churches and monasteries were built in the locations which have been blessed by the visit of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph the carpenter. Many miracles took place in these locations during the Holy Family visit 2000 years ago (and continue to occur to this day). These Coptic churches are considered the oldest and among the holiest of all churches in Christendom.
In one small street in el-Matarya district of today's Cairo (Eid Street/Shek El-Te'eban Street), all kinds of bread and bakery cannot be leavened up to this day, since the Virgin Mary first visited that place with the Holy Family 2000 years ago and they were refused bread and cast away. This is an ongoing miracle that anyone can witness till this very day. Bread leavens normally in all surrounding streets.
- Zeitun (noted for its Marian apparitions. It has been suggested that during the Holy Family's sojourn in Egypt, at one point they stopped at this site, where the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary currently stands.)
- Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ἡ Φυγὴ Στὴν Αἴγυπτο τῆς Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου. 26 Δεκεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
The following Web sites and resources will help the interested reader explore the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt:
- Video: The Holy Family Journey in Egypt - featuring HH Pope Shenouda III (English - RealVideo)
- TourEgypt.net: The Holy Family in Egypt
- The Sources of Egypt's Traditions Related to The Flight of the Holy Family by Jimmy Dunn
- The Coptic Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary (Muharraq Monastery) by Jimmy Dunn
- The Holy Family in Egypt - St. Mary Monastery (Al Sourian) Web site
- The Holy Family in Egypt - Coptic Papal Residence Web site
- Church of Abi Serga, Old Cairo - Web site of the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt
- Pages from EgyptTreasures.gov.eg: , , , 
- The Holy Family in Egypt - Another Web site
- EgyptVoyager.com: The Holy Family in Egypt (Clickable map: )
- The Holy Family Journey in Egypt with Maps & Photos (freeware program - 576 Kb - for Microsoft® Windows® 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP)
- The Holy Family in Egypt - English Article in Al-Ahram Weekly (2003)
- Jesus in Egypt - Another English Article from Al-Ahram Weekly (2001)
- Book: Be Thou There; the Holy Family's Journey in Egypt by Gawdat Gabra, William Lyster, Cornelis Hulsman, Stephen Davis, and Norbert Schiller - Cairo: AUC Press, 2001(Related site: )
- Book: The Holy Family in Egypt - by Prof. Otto F.A. Meinardus - Cairo: AUC Press, 1986 (first published in 1963)
- Film chronicles Jesus in Egypt - by Tom Breen, Florida Today, June 27, 2005
- Modern Coptic icons of the Holy Family in Egypt