Rome (Agenzia Fides) – During the General Audience on Wednesday, October 4, Pope Francis welcomed the large Egyptian delegation who are in Rome to promote pilgrimages along the "The Path of Holy Family", the itinerary that joins the places crossed, according to tradition, by Mary, Joseph, and Child Jesus when they found shelter in Egypt to escape the violence of Herod. In a greeting addressed to the Egyptian delegation, led by the Minister for Tourism, Yahya Rashid, the Bishop of Rome recalled his Apostolic Journey to Egypt last April: "I remember affectionately - said the Pope - my Apostolic Visit in your good land and the generous people; the land on which St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the Child Jesus and many prophets lived; the land blessed through the centuries by the precious blood of the martyrs and the righteous; the land of coexistence and hospitality; the land of encounter, history and civilization. May the Lord - said the Pope - bless all of you and protect your country, the Middle East and the whole world, from all terrorism and evil!" At the end of the Audience, the Egyptian delegation asked Pope Francis to bless an icon of the Holy Family's escaping to Egypt.
The meeting between the Pope and the delegation from Egypt had a great deal of echo on Egyptian media. Nader Guirguis, a member of the ministerial Commission specifically set up for the revival of the Path of the Holy Family, interviewed by Egyptian tv, said he was convinced that the reception the Egyptian delegation had in the Vatican will greatly increase the flow of pilgrims interested in retracing the itinerary of the Holy Family in Egyptian land. While Minister Rashid confirmed that he had delivered a message from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi to Pope Francis. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 5/10/2017)