Featured Photo: Shangyun Shen, Coptic monks walking on the boulevard in the Monastery of Dayr al-Muharrq.
Author: Shangyun Shen
Before the massive city of Cairo awoke from its slumber, we hopped on the minibus that would eventually take us all the way to the hinterland of Upper Egypt and back. We were embarking on a journey to visit the sites believed to be trodden by the Holy Family some 2000 years ago.
Continue reading A Re-examination of the Holy Family Tradition in Upper Egypt
The monastery of the Holy Virgin of al–Muharraq lies at the foot of Qusqam Hill, 327 kilometers south of Cairo. This monastery is unquestionably the most prominent location in the Holy Family’s itinerary. Dayr al-Muharraq means the monastery scorched by fire in Arabic referring to the desiccated desert around as well as occasional burning of ruderal vegetation. According to tradition, this is the place that the Holy Family stayed for six months and five days, and where Jesus, after his Resurrection, returned and consecrated an altar in order to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah 19:19, in that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt. The location of the monastery is roughly the geographical center of the African Egypt.
Continue reading Dayr al-Muharraq
Featured photo: Norbert Schiller, a priest blessed a child and two women at Kom Maria just outside the village of Dayr Abu Hinnis.
The text below is an Egypt Today article from the year 2000, when H.H. Pope Shenouda and President Mubarak were still in power.
Author: Cornelis Hulsman
Egypt’s oldest churches and monasteries have always attracted many hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year.” The Coptic Orthodox Church, to which 90 percent of Egypt’s Christians belong, has convinced authorities and the public of the flight’s importance, and the Ministry of Tourism has since actively supported religious tourism, publishing a photo book and distributing it worldwide. In the past year dozens of articles have appeared in the Egyptian press about the project, and Nile TV broadcast an awareness-raising documentary during Pope John Paul’s recent visit. The American University in Cairo Press is also publishing a book about the Holy Family.
Continue reading Searching the Route: On the History and Present of the Holy Family Tradition
Featured photo: Popko van Meekeren, Coptic deacons in procession.
The text below this introduction was sent to Christianity Today, in the USA and edited for publication in the December issue of Christianity Today , copyright Christianity Today.
Author: Cornelis Hulsman
Christianity Today had already asked me to write an article on the Holy Family in April 2000. That was postponed for various reasons, not least because I was seriously ill in June 2000 and needed a few months to recover.
Continue reading The Refugee Savior: How Egyptian Christians Still Make Room for the Holy Family