The three-year stay of Joseph, Mary and Jesus Christ in Egypt, North African country and the sites they visited during their stay has been launched as legendary and major historic sites in the country.
Some of this historic sites are the Church of St. Sergius and the Hanging Church in Old Cairo, St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Convent in Maadi, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Jabal al-Tair near Minya, Muharraq Monastery at Mount Koskam, the Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Monastery at Mount Durunka in Assiut governorate and the three monasteries of Wadi al-Natrun which includes the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai where it is believed to enshrine the burning bush from which God first revealed himself to Moses.
These are eight of the 25 believed to be places where the holy family stopped during their stay in the North African country which are now promoting tourism to Egypt.
Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem in 5 B.C. before the birth of Jesus Christ.
The family moved to Egypt just after the birth of Jesus when Joseph was told in a dream to flee to the North African country Egypt to escape the command of Herod the Great to slaughter children in and around Bethlehem.
They reached Egypt after a 65 kilometers journey where they lived for three years.
According to the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of James, the Holy Family fled and made their way through the Judaic desert to the Jordan valley.
On their way to Egypt, the dragons came and bowed to them, the lions and leopards adored them, the roses of Jericho blossomed wherever there footsteps trod, the palm-trees bent down to give them dates, the robbers were overawed and the journey was miraculously shortened.
It was also related that in Tal-Basta also known as Basta , seventy-two miles Northeast of Cairo was the first Egyptian town visited by the Holy Family, Jesus caused a spring to well up from the ground.
Also at their entrance there, all the idols of the land of Egypt fell from their pedestals with a sudden crash, and lay shattered and broken upon their faces and many wonderful cures of leprosy and relief of demoniac possession were accomplished.
At Mostorod, later named Al-Mahmma which means the Bathing Place, about seven miles north west of Cairo, A name given to the town because the Virgin Mary bathed the Christ Child and washed His clothes there.
It is worthy of note that, eventually, on their way back to Palestine, the Holy Family stopped once more at Mostorod and, this time, caused a spring to gush from the earth, which still flows forth to the present day.
The family travelled back to Nazareth, which took them a journey of at least 170 kilometers after the death of Herod in 4 B.C. when Joseph had a dream that it is safe to return to Israel.
Egypt has been under Roman control since 30 B.C., and was outside the jurisdiction of Herod. Therefore the country had been the traditional place of refuge for Jews from time immemorial.