The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrated the entry of the Holy Family into Egypt on 24 Bashans of the Coptic calendar -- which coincided with 1 June. The above-pictured ancient icon, dating back to the first century AD, was reproduced from an original icon that was illustrated by Saint Luke, The Physician. The original icon depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus, while John the Baptist was kissing Christ's feet, and beside him a lamp, which is a symbol of Christ himself.
The reproduced icon exists in the Church of the Virgin Mary known by the name Al- Ezbaweya), which is in the neighbourhood of Saint Mark Church in Azbakya district of Downtown Cairo.
According to tradition, the site where the church today stands, Ezba (or a farm) was owned by a benevolent man, who was sowing watermelon seeds, and kindly hosted the Holy Family and afforded them water from a well -- which still stands in the grounds of the church.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Coptic icon of Saint Mark's Church, Azbakya, Cairo
Al Ahram Weekly
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