An Outline Of The History
Of Virgin Mary
The Holy Family's Journey To Egypt

Icon of the Flight to Egypt, Al Muallaqah Church, Old Cairo
Icon of the Flight to Egypt,
Al Muallaqah Church, Old Cairo


Hally was married to a woman, had no offspring and then died. So according to the Jewish Law, his brother Jacob married his wife and begot Joseph. The latter is sometimes called in the Bible Jacob's son, according to the natural law, and at other times Hally's son, according to the Jewish Law that decrees that if a man marries and does not beget a child, his brother marries his woman to have some offspring for the deceased brother. The first born becomes the deceased' lawful son and is attributed to him.

The afore-said Joseph is Virgin Mary's betrothed.

The Virgin had a sister, also called Mary. She is wife to Klooba, and mother to Lucie, Simon, Jacob and Judas--all have been mentioned in the Bible as brethern to the Christ (His cousins according to the physical relationship).

Mary was avowed to be a Virgin and She lived in the Temple until She was 12 years of age. Then She was betrothed to Joseph at the bidding of God's angel who ordered all to gather their sticks, with everyone's name written on his own stick, and place them in the altar. Joseph's stick sprouted. So, he received the Virgin and took Her home. It is also said that a dove appeared out of Joseph's stick and that it flew and settled on his head.

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel, as a herald of the great news to Mary saying: "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee.. Blessed art thou among women.... Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus."

Six months had passed since the Angel of God has welcomed Zacharias with the happy news that his "wife Elisabeth shall bear (him) a son and (he) shalt call his name John." So, John the Baptist is six months older than Christ.


The Virgin died on 21st Touba (a Coptic month). Then, She was 58 years, 8 months and 3 days old.

The Church celebrates Her birthday on the first of Bashans (a Coptic month), Her entry into the altar on the 3rd of Keyak, and death on 21st of Touba.

The opening of tomb and the elevation of Her holy body to heavens are on l6th Messari; Her arrival into Egypt is on 21st Bashans.

The anniversary of building the 1st church to be named after Her is on 21st Baouna.

The feast of Her apparition at Zeitoun is on 2nd April,1968.


On the 1st June (24th Bashans) the Church celebrates the anniversary of the Holy Family's coming to Egypt. It is known that the Holy Family arrived at El Ferma at the north eastern border of Egypt (now the place is named Port Fouad). Then the Holy Family moved on to Tal Basta (the city of Zagazig is located there now)--and arrived there on 24th Bashans. Thus God has blessed our land and all the old Egyptian idols fell to pieces to realize the Book's statement that: "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).

The Virgin sat in the shade of a big tree. Joseph touched the ground with a rod of iron, and fresh water sprang out of the spot. It is said that a man named Kalloum wondered at what he saw. He invited the Holy Family to his house where he used to pray to an idol. That idol fell and was broken into pieces. So, the priests demanded the death of Jesus.

The Holy Family went over to Belbeis and then to Menyat Genah (near the present town of Sammanoud). There, Christ caused a spring of water to appear. A church was built there. It was called Beekha Isous, i.e. Christ's heel; now it is known as the Monastery of El Maghtas.

The Holy Family then went over to El Natroun Valley. So, God blessed the place and filled it with monasteries and peopled them with monks. There, it is said, the Holy Family was met by two thieves. The first was deeply affected by the light and holiness emanating from the baby Christ's face. So he persuaded his companion to restore what they had plundered. The Virgin prayed that he might be granted the blessing of repentance. It is the same thief, on Christ's right, that had been touched by Grace, so he cried out on the throne, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."

The Holy Family then moved on to Ein Shams and El Matterya. Joseph had a stick. Christ planted it. A spring of water came out, and it grew into a tree. El Matterya tree still lives up to the present day, over 2000 years.

The Holy Family passed by the site occupied now by the Church of Abou Serga in Ancient Cairo.

Then the Holy Family moved on to Upper Egypt (near Samalout) passing through El Ashmouneen, and Mount Kiskam and Meir and Mount Drinka (in Assyout). El Moharik Monastery there has an ancient church on the site of the cave in which the Holy Family stayed.

[Back To The Apparitions Of Virgin Mary At Zeitoun Index]