Be Thou There

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Book Details

Author 
Publisher  American University in Cairo Press
Publication Date   April 1, 2001
ISBN  9774246063
Pages  176

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"Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word"(Matt., 2:13).

The world long awaited the arrival of the Messiah, and the prophecy intimated that he would appear in Egypt. But how long would he stay? Where would he go? This remarkable book retraces the footsteps of the Holy Family in Egypt as they fled the decree of Herod ordering the slaughter of all male infants under the age of two.

Since the Gospels give scant information on the Family's time in Egypt the experts assembled here have had to resort to a little detective work: examining the Coptic sources and the rich culture the Copts have had as one of the first Christian communities in the world and the primary denomination in Egypt; combing through all the ancient references and testimonials in libraries around the world; and walking Egypt from end to end, collecting local traditions and sharing in pilgrimage festivals throughout the country. Each expert reports his findings here in a refined yet engaging way.

More than 100 full-color photographs vividly demonstrate that the spirit of the Holy Family remains alive in the land where Jesus took his first earthly steps - in solitary groves, desert retreats, and urban sites where churches now attest to their sacred character, in jewel-encrusted icons that candidly reveal the mercy of Jesus, and in the worshipful regard of celebrants, congregants, monks, and pilgrims.

Here, at last, scholars, general readers, and tourists alike will find a comprehensive guide to the traditions associated with the Holy Family in Egypt. Significantly, all sites the Family is said to have visited are included, even in the absence of scholarly support, because thousands of believers prove by their faith that the Family's presence remains to this day.

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