Having passed through the ruins of Tell El-Amarna, an ephemeral ancient Pharaonic city, the Holy Family came to Dayrut Al-Sharif. Today one finds at this place the Monastery of Abu Sarabam, and an old Christian cemetery with a tree, that according to tradition, gave shelter to the Holy Family.
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Dayr Abu Hinnis is a Christian village, with three Orthodox, and two Evangelical churches. The most important location related to the Holy Family is Kom Maria ‘the hill of Maria’, a slightly elevated hill of sand just outside the village , where the Holy Virgin is said to have rested. Kom Maria is less than one kilometer from the fifth century Church of Abu Hinnis, it was founded by St. John the Short, a Coptic hermit and saint who once lived in Wadi Al-Natrun, but fled to this area in 407 A.D. after the Wadi had been attacked by raiders. Continue reading Dayr Abu Hinnis →
According to the tradition, having crossed the Nile at al-Roda after a short stay in Bir Sahaba, the Holy Family reached Al–Ashmunayn, once named Hermopolis Magna, a prosperous metropolis on the west bank of Nile. Today only ruins of the colossal Corinthian columns of the ancient basilica, dated back to the 5th century, remain intact.
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When the Holy Family reached the well of Bir al-Sahaba, a few kilometers south of Beni Hasan (there is no direct road though) and north of Dayr Abu Hinnis in the desert, they found no water. Jesus wanted to return to the Nile to get water, but suddenly a large cloud appeared and provided them with shade against the burning sun, then a well was formed to quench the thirst of the Holy Family. This fascinating oral tradition thus explains the name of the well, for al-Sahaba means cloud in Arabic.
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In Beni Hasan, we visit the marvelous and famous pharaonic tombs of the 11th and 12th Dynasties (2050-1786 B.C.). Magnificently, pharaonic paintings in theses tombs are still colorful despite the long course of time.
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