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The Holy Family came to Egypt, says the Biblical text. But it is silent on what they did once there. Coptic Orthodox tradition has filled in the details. And now, as Arab West Report discovered on a visit led by Cornelis Hulsman on January 16, 2016, they have one detail more.
The author writes about the Virgin Mary feast which celebrates both the Virgin’s fasting and the memory of the Holy Family’s journey in the Upper Egyptian area of Assiut. A visit to an old cave that housed the Virgin and young Jesus is an essential part of the festivities.
The annual celebrations of the feast of the Virgin Mary at Dayr al-Azrā’ attracted millions of Muslims and Christians and boosted economic activities in the city of Assiut.
‘Imād Basālī argues that the government’s culture of secrecy has disguised the true number of Copts in Egypt. While official statistics indicate that Copts constitute 7 to 10% of Egypt’s population, the Coptic Orthodox Church says that there are an estimated 10 million Copts in Egypt.
The governor of Assiut stated that more than 2 million people, including foreigners from 25 European countries and Egyptian Muslims and Christians, would visit Durunka Monastery to celebrate the day of the Virgin Mary.
A few days ago the Virgin Mary appeared on the top of the domes of the Mar Morqos church in the Matraniya street, Assiut. A large number of the residents in the area are confirming that they saw the Virgin Mary praying on the church’s domes while others say they saw her at the altar.
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