Cairo, Alexandria, El-Alamein & Siwa (Copy)

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Then on to Wadi el-Natroun (Natroun Valley). In the earliest decades of Christianity the desert expanses of Wadi el-Natroun became the site of anchoritic settlement and later of many monasteries in spiritual commemoration of the Holy Family’s passage through the Valley. Return to Cairo to overnight. (B)

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(Sunday) Today depart Cairo by air-conditioned vehicle and travel to Pelusium: an ancient Egyptian city on the easternmost mouth of the Nile River (long silted up). One of the first resting places of the Holy Family, the city has long been destroyed however today it is an active archeological dig with a First Century church being restored. Pelusium is famous as the spot that Pompey was hanged and during the crusades King Baldwin died of ptomaine poisoning.

From Pelusium you will follow the trek of the Holy Family to Tel Basta (or Basta), about 60 miles north-east of Cairo. Here, Jesus caused a water spring to well up from the ground, and His presence caused the idols to crumble, as foretold by the prophets of old. (“Behold the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt and the idols of Egypt will totter at His Presence and the heart of Egypt will melt in the midst of it”. Isaiah 19:1) You will visit the site of Belbeis (Ancient Philippos) where they rested in the shade of a tree which came to be called, “The Virgin Mary’s Tree’.

Then you will follow their route to Mostorod (which came to be called, in those days, ‘Al Mahamma’) only about 6 miles away from Cairo. ‘Al Mahamma’ m.

Having left their mark on Belbeis, the Holy Family set off in a north-westerly direction and, reaching the small township of Meniet Samannoud (known also as Meniet Genah), they crossed the Nile to the city of Samanoud (or Jemnoty) in the Delta, where the local population received them with a kindness and hospitality that earned them deserved blessing. There is in Samannoud, to this day, a large granite trough which, according to local belief, was used by the Virgin for kneading dough, and a water-well which the Christ Child Himself hallowed.

On to Sakha Town, the Coptic name of the town, ‘Pekha-Issous’, (vernacularized to Lysous) means, ‘the foot of Jesus’; for the Holy Child’s foot-print was marked, here, in bas-relief on a rock. The rock was preserved, but hidden for centuries for fear of robbery, and only unearthed again 13 years ago.

Then on to Wadi el-Natroun (Natroun Valley). In the earliest decades of Christianity the desert expanses of Wadi el-Natroun became the site of anchoritic settlement and later of many monasteries in spiritual commemoration of the Holy Family’s passage through the Valley. Return to Cairo to overnight. (B)

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