iteru_theology_religion_faith_holy_family

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!