“Way of the Holy Family” cited to relaunch Egyptian tourism
The Society of African Missions has long revered the Holy Family as ‘the first missionaries to Africa’. This is celebrated in SMA artwork, including the magnificent Harry Clarke stained-glass window in St. Anthony’s Chapel, SMA headquarters, Tenafly, New Jersey, USA.
On 23 September 2016, Agenzia Fides, the Information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies, reported that 24 Egyptian parliamentarians are pledging their support for the “Holy Family Project”. In recent years, Egyptian tourism has been in decline due to sectarian violence and terrorist attacks.
The parliamentarians were attending the Economic Conference of New Jersey, organised by the American Coptic Association. The conference was also attended by representatives of the Coptic diaspora in the USA.
“The economic crisis that is affecting Egypt calls upon all communities of Egyptian-born emigrants around the world… to focus… on… promoting tourism… focusing not only on the Pyramids and resorts of the Red Sea, but also on the pilgrimage along the “Way of the Holy Family” the route to the places that, according to ancient traditions, are places Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus walked during their exile in the land of Egypt.”
The report states that the ‘ideal path of the pilgrimage’ has been identified. It would start from the town of Al-Arish in northern Sinai, head to the delta and Wadi Natrun, and reach Assiut and the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, known as the Monastery of Al-Muharraq.
You can read the full report of Agenzia Fides here: