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Written by Synodical Committee of the Coptic Orthodox Church   
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
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The Holy Family in Egypt
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The advent of the Holy Family to Egypt, seeking refuge, is an event of the utmost significance in our mother country's long history.
 
Moved by the spirit of prophecy, Hosea foresaw the flight from Bethlehem where there was no safe place for the Christ Child to lay his head, and the eventual return of the holy refugees from their sanctuary in Egypt, where Jesus had found a place in the hearts of the Gentiles, when he uttered God's words: "Out of Egypt I called My Son“ (Hosea I I : 1) . In the Biblical Book of Isaiah, the prophet provides us with a divinely inspired prediction of the effect the Holy Infant was to have on Egypt and the Egyptians: "Behold the Lord rides on a swift cloud, And wilt come into Egypt; The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst" (Isaiah 13:1)

Christ in Egypt
Christ in Egypt
The authority of Old Testament prophecy , which foretold the crumbling of idols wherever Jesus went, further foreshadowed the singular blessing to be bestowed upon Egypt, for its having been chosen as the Holy Family's haven, and upon its people for having been the first to experience The Christ's miraculous influence. God's message also delivered through the prophetic utterance of Isaiah "Blessed be Egypt, My people" (Isaiah 19:25), was an anticipation of the coming of St Mark to our country, where the Gospel he preached took firm root in the first decades of Christianity. Isaiah goes on to prophecy: "In that day there will be an alter 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” Isaiah 19:19-20)

According to the traditions of the Coptic Church, the altar mentioned is that of the Church of the Virgin Mary in AIMuharraq Monastery, a site where the Holy Family settled for a period of more than six months; and the altar-stone was the bed, upon which the Infant Savior lay. Al-Muharraq Monastery is located, literally, "in the midst of the land of Egypt" ... Standing at its exact geographical center. As for the "pillar at its borders ... which will be for a sign and for a witness ...” surely there can be no more demonstrable, concrete proof of the fulfillment of this prophecy than that the Patriarchal See of the Apostolic Church in Egypt was established by St. Mark himself. It is situated in Alexandria, on Egypt's northern borders.



Last Updated ( Friday, 10 July 2015 )
 
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