Today, 1 June on the Gregorian calendar and 24 Pashons on the Coptic calendar, coincides with the Feast of the Entry of the Holy Family into Egypt. The feast commemorates the Biblical flight of Baby Jesus, St Mary and St Joseph from the face of Herod the King who wished to kill the Child. According to the Gospel of St Matthew, the Holy Family fled the historical land of Israel and took refuge in Egypt where tradition has it that they stayed for some three years until the angel of the Lord told them to go back home. During these three years they travelled through Egypt from its northeastern outpost to the desert west of the Nile Delta, then back east to the spot that is present-day Cairo and from there southwards to Assiut, some 350km south of Cairo. Every spot at which the Holy Family is believed to have stayed or rested is today the site of some church, monastery or convent to which pilgrims flock.
The feast is an exclusively Egyptian event, one that Egyptians are proud of and which they celebrate with festive Vespers services on its eve and Liturgies on the feast day.
This year, 2020, with churches closed on account of measures to abate the spread of COVID-19, Copts follow the prayers televised live on Christian channels.
Watani wishes its readers a happy feast and blessed commemoration of the Holy Family.
1 June 2020