Pope Tawadros at St. Sergius and St. Bacchus Church in Old Cairo (Courtesy of the Coptic Church Facebook page)
Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, led a mass marking the anniversary of the entry of the Holy Family to Egypt on Tuesday with limited attendance due to restrictions over the coronavirus.
“The arrival of the Holy Family to Egypt is a bright page in our country's history,” the pope said in his remarks at the celebration.
The mass, held at St. Sergius and St. Bacchus Church in Old Cairo, was attended by a limited number of worshippers and monks amid a strict adherence to preventive measures against the virus.
Egypt aims to incorporate the journey through Egypt by the Virgin Mary and an enfant Jesus into the global religious tourism map, allocating millions of pounds for the development of the stops located on the family’s path across the country.
The development work, estimated at EGP 60 million, aims to create or upgrade tourist facilities and services along the path.
The restoration of all the archaeological sites located on the Holy Family’s path has been completed.
The traditional path includes 25 points, starting from Arafat in North Sinai; passing through Al-Farama in Mirth, Port Said; to Sakha town in Kafr El-Sheikh; Tel Basta in Sharqiya; Samanoud in Gharbiya; and Wadi El-Natroun, where the Paramos and St. Macarius monasteries are located.
It then moves to Bab Zuweila in Cairo, to Old Cairo — where the St. Sergius and St. Bacchus Church is located, then to Gabal Am-Teir Church in Minya, followed by the Maharaq Monastery in Assiut, then the Dronka cave.