Flight Into Egypt of the Holy Family
Commemorated on December 26
It is through the Gospel of St. Matthew where Egypt is often identified as the place of refuge that the Holy Family sought in its flight from Judea: “When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Matthew 2:12-23).
St. Nikolai Velimirovic relates the following story: The holy family, fleeing into Egypt, were accosted by robbers, one of whom, seeing the Christ Child, was amazed at His supernatural beauty and said, “If God were to take human flesh Himself, He would not be more beautiful than this child!” The robber told his companions to take nothing from the family. In gratitude, the Mother of God told him, “This Child will reward you richly for having spared Him today.” Thirty years later, it was this robber who was crucified at Christ’s right hand, and was granted to hear the words, “Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.”