Continuing their flight, the Holy Family reached Ishnin al-Nasara, a village literally means the Garden of the Christians. It is believed that uppon reaching the village, the Christ Child felt thirsty. The Holy Family saw a well, but it was empty and Jesus cried. The Holy Virgin took his finger and held it over the well which then produced water immediately. After they had drunk enough, the water fell back to a low level. Although The well is now covered for protection, pilgrims still gather every year on August 21 to witness the miracle that the well’s water rises at around 4:00 p.m.
Pilgrims also come for the relics of father Mikhael al-Behery, a disciple of the late 19th century bishop Abraam. His relics were obtained by the church in 1991.
In Ishnin al- Nasara, we will visit the Church of St. George with its 12 domes symbolizing the 12 disciples. Some estimates the present church to be perhaps on thousand years old.
Father Yassa in the village is from a priestly lineage, meaning several of his family members are clerics as well. Father Yo’annis, whose father and two brothers are priests likewise, is even preparing his only son to be a priest. Such phenomenon has become rarer in Egypt nowadays.
Ishnin al Nasara in year 2000
Photo: Norbert Schiller, sunset over the Church of St. George at Ishnin al-Nasara.
Photo: Paul Perry, the 12 domes of the Church of St. George
Photo: Paul Perry, the Holy Family well at the Church of St. George, covered for protection. The local church restored the well and modernized it using marble. The villagers like such restoration, but people with a sense of antiquity reprimand it, showing the different taste between villagers and city people.
Photo: Paul Perry, the two priests holding Eucharistic breads are brothers. The bread is leavened, unsalted made of the finest flour. The twelve crosses refer to the twelve disciples, and the five holes refer to the wounds of of crucifixion. We can also see the word ”Agios” or “Holy” written on the bread three times symbolizing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Photo: Paul Perry, Christians family at Ishnin al-Nasara.
Photo: Paul Perry, a friendly woman feeding her geese. She welcomed us in her house to take photos from the roof. At the back we see the 12 domes of the Church of St. George, at Ishnin al-Nasara, and its guesthouse.
Ishnin al Nasara in year 2017
Photo: Shangyun Shen, the Church of St. George.
Photo: Shangyun Shen, the entrance to the courtyard of the ecclesial complex. To the right of the gate is the rather tall belfry.
Photo: Shangyun Shen, a pavilion built over the blessed well.
Photo: Shangyun Shen, statue of the Virgin Mary opens her arm to show pilgrims the blessed well.
Photo: Shangyun Shen, Father Maximous checking a painting in the church, it depicts the Flight into Egypt.