The Holy Family in Egypt

The angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-14)

Neither does the biblical scripture tell us precisely about the trip of agony our Lord has to take as a hunted outlaw in the lands of Roman Egypt, nor are the stories of theastonishing miracles which happened just by the presence of the King of Kings on the banks of the Nile mentioned.

Yet, the rich and deeply rooted Coptic tradition, believed to be built on holy visions and the verbal tradition of early believers who have been touched by the gentleness of the heavenly visitors, allow us to step on the steps of the first missionary in Christian history: Christ himself!

Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Egypt

Upon arrival at Cairo International Airport our representative will meet and assist you with passport control, customs formalities and handling your luggage. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel.

Day 2
Ruins of Floussyea Church in Zaranik and the Coptic Synexarium.

In the very first hours of the morning drive to Zaranik and visit the ruins of the Floussyea Church which is built on the site of the first stop of the holy family trip through Egypt.

Furthermore, get a chance to read the scripture about the call to Joseph to take the boy and his mother and escape to Egypt and listen to parts from the Coptic Syenexarium featuring the 6th century Coptic tradition of the Holy Family’s route in Egypt (the richest ressource on the traditions of the flight).

For the 24th Bashans (Coptic Calender, 1st of June) it reads:

“On this day, our Lord Jesus Christ came to the land of Egypt when He was a two years old child” and “The Lord Jesus came to Egypt with Joseph, and His Virgin mother, and Salome (the mid wife).”

Day 3
Ruins of Pelusium, Bubastis and the Church of Mary in Mostorod

In the morning, drive to Pelusium and read the scripture from Ezekiel where the city is mentiond as “City of Sins” and learn about its history and why it is most likely that any traveler who took this road would have stopped in there for sure.

Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also destroy the idols, And cause the images to cease from Noph; There shall no longer be princes from the land of Egypt; I will put fear in the land of Egypt. I will make Pathros desolate, Set fire to Zoan, and execute judgments in No. I will pour My fury on Sin, the strength of Egypt; I will cut off the multitude of No, and set a fire in Egypt; Sin shall have great pain, No shall be split open, and Noph shall be in distress daily.” (Ezekiel 30,13-16)

Drive further to Bubasti (Tell Basta), the religious center of the Delta in ancient Egypt which according to tradition witnessed a miracle by baby Jesus.

“The water of the well became a curing water for all sicknesses.” (Coptic Syenexarium)

Also, Tell Basta is believed to be the site where the Isaiah’s prophecy about the shivering and falling icons fullfilled:

The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, And will come into Egypt; The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; Everyone will fight against his brother, And everyone against his neighbor, City against city, kingdom against kingdom.” (Isaiah 19,1-2)

Read the scriptures from the Old Testament and from the Coptic Synexarium while visiting the well of Jesus and proceed to the church of St. Mary in Mostorod.

Visit the crypt where the Holy Family stayed according to the tradition and learn about the miracles that happened in this small city.

Day 4
Belbeis and the Holy Tree of Mary in Sammanoud

Start your day driving to the city of Belbies, a city that was targeted a couple of times by the crusades in the middle ages, where the Holy Family has settled in the shade of a tree known till today as “St. Mary’s Tree”.

Visit the church of St. Mary and the tree then drive further to Sammanoud, a city which is famous with its generous reception of the Holy Family which got them a blessing from baby Jesus.

Visit the church of St. Mary and Martyer Abanob, learn about the tradition behind the holy well in the church and the trough which is still existing.

Day 5
The Church of Mary in Sakha, the Footprint of Jesus and Wadi el-Natroun

Drive north to visit the church of St. Mary in Sakha, the next stop on the Holy Family’s tour, where you will see the foot print of Jesus on a rock.

Then drive further into the western desert to Wadi el-Natroun, the wilderness that witnessed the early desert fathers of the church and before them was blessed by St. Mary herself.

“From there, they went westward to Wadi El-Natroun, and St. Mary blessed the place, for her knowledge that many monasteries would be built there.” (Coptic Syenexarium)

Visit the monasteries of Anba Bishoy, St. Mary Syrian and St. Mary Baramous, learn about Coptic monasticism and get a chance for a quite prayer or meditation in one of the old churches of the monasteries.

Day 6
The Holy Tree of Mary in Matariya and the Miracle of Zeitoun

In the morning, drive to Matariya and visit St. Mary’s which grew next to a spring that Jesus miraculously made for them to drink from.

After visiting the tree and the spring, follow the steps of the Holy Family to Zeitoun, a suburb of Cairo famous with the church which was built over the site where the Holy Family rested. Furthermore, it was here that in 1968 the miracle of Mary’s appearance on top of the church happened. Learn about the traditions from your guide and get a chance for a prayer and meditation.

Follow that with a visit to the old church of St. Mary in the alley of Zewilla in the heart of Islamic Cairo and proceed to St. Mary’s Church in down town Cairo, know as el-Ezbawia. Both churches have hosted the Foly Family for short rests on their way to what is today known as Coptic Cairo, which you will visit tomorrow.

Day 7
The Old Churches in Coptic Cairo and the Miracle of the Floating Bible

Spend your day walking through the oldest churches in Egypt, the “Hanging Church”, the church of Abu Serga and the church of St. Barbara.

Learn about the long history of the Coptic Church and its traditions and follow your guide through the Coptic Museum.

Later on, visit the church of St. Mary in Maadi, the gateway of the Holy Family when they travelled further south. Learn about the miracle of the floating bible and read chosen parts from the scriptures propheciesing about Egypt and more chapters from the Coptic Senexarium.

Day 8
Deir el-Garnos, Abia Issous and Monastery of Mary in Gabal el-Teir

Drive south on the steps of the Holy Family to Deir el-Garnos village where you will visit the wells that provided the Holy Family with water they needed.

Then pass by the village formerly named Abia Issous (“Home of Jesus”) and eventually arrive at St. Mary’s Monastery in Gabal el-Teir (also known as Gabal El Kaf – “the mountain of the palm”). When the Holy Family passed by this site, a palm tree threatend to fall on their boat, but the infant Jesus miracously saved his family. See the palm of Jesus printed on a rock and have a good chance to pray and meditate.

Day 9
Nazalet el-Abd and Ashmonin

Drive south to Nazlet el-Abd and visit the tree which bowed down to worship the Lord when he passed by. Then proceed to the city of Ashmonin (formerly called Hermopolis) and visit the ruins of the Roman city and the old basilica that was built in the name of St. Mary.

According to tradition, Jesus left the city after its idols had fallen to the ground.

Day 10
Monasteries of Mary in Deirut el-Sherif and Doronka and “Second Bethlehem”

Visit the monastery of St. Mary at Deirut el-Sherif, a city which, according to Coptic tradition, suffered destruction because of its refusal to the holy visitors.

Then pass by Meir, a village that welcomed the Holy Family and has been blessed generously by the Lord and his mother. After this get to “Second Bethlehem” how Egyptians like to call the Monastery of St. Mary (al-Muharraq), where the Holy Family rested for the longest period in their trip.

“Then they went to al-Ashmoneen where they settled for several days, after which they went to Mt. Qosqam, where the monastery of St. Mary was later built, which has been known with the name el-Moharrak monastery.” (Coptic Syenexarium)

According to Coptic tradition the alter on the site was consecrated by the Lord himself and it is the mere fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah that there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt.

In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. (Isaiah 19,19-21)

Also remember the famous passage from Mattew reporting that the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to travel back to Israel. A nice chance to pray and meditate.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. (Matthew 2,19-21)

Afterwards, follow the steps of the return journey to the Monastery of St. Mary in Doronka which was blessed by the Holy Family before they took the same route back to Israel. Travel back to Cairo.

Day 11
Departure Day

According to your flight time, private transfer to Cairo Airport for your return flight.

Tour Details

Including

All our tours are private tours including private transportation and private guiding.

  • Entrance Visa to Egypt (app. 12 €).
  • Faith oriented guiding by our carefully chosen Coptic guide.
  • Scripture studies and readings from the Coptic Senestarium in the respective places.
  • Multiple chances for prayer, silent meditation and group activities.
  • Transportation to and from the airport in Cairo.
  • 7 nights stay in Cairo in a good hotel or church guesthouse.
  • 1 night stay in al-Arish in a good hotel or church guesthouse.
  • 2 nights stay in Minia in a good hotel or church guesthouse.
  • Admission fees where necessary (app. 20 €).
  • Full board (excl. beverages).
  • Recommended gratuities (app. 60 €).
  • For the time of your tour: Free Egyptian mobile phone, including 100 Egyptian Pounds worth of calling (one per group).

Not included: Intl. flights, personal expenses, everything not mentioned above.

Prices

All prices are inclusive of all mentioned services and valid throughout the year except major holidays during the high season. Please inquire for details.

  • Private tour, 1 to 2 people: Please inquire for individual pricing.
  • Private tour, 3 to 9 people: 1265 €
  • Private tour, 10 to 20 people: 1095 €
  • Private tour, 21 and more: Please inquire for individual pricing.

Customize Your Tour

Please feel free to provide us with your own ideas and preferences about your tour. Our travel professionals will be happy to tailor your personalized tour excatly as you want it to be!

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