AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Bishop: may the entry of Jesus in Egypt be celebrated as a national holiday

Friday, 8 April 2016

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Egyptian Coptic Christians are preparing to celebrate the feast of Jesus' entry into Egypt, which this year falls on July 1. In view of this liturgical and spiritual appointment, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Anba Youlyous, member of the Holy Synod, a close collaborator of Patriarch Tawadros II and in charge of managing social works, recalled that the Church calls all Egyptians to join the feast, and suggested that this event is to be celebrated as a national holiday in Egypt.
For Christians in Egypt the Holy Family fleeing to the land of the Pharaohs represents a providential event, which prepared the nation to receive the proclamation of the Gospel. According to local tradition, the Holy Family moved throughout the country carrying out miracles, which are at the origin of numerous sanctuaries, visited also by Muslims. The story of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt is now compared to the humanitarian emergency of refugees: many Coptic Christians wonder what kind of reception would Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus fleeing from Herod have today, those European Countries that build walls to reject refugees fleeing from war and violence. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/04/2016)