Tag: Flight to Egypt

The Miraculous Milk Grotto Where The Virgin Mary Breastfed The Infant Jesus 

The Miraculous Milk Grotto Where The Virgin Mary Breastfed The Infant Jesus 

The Miraculous Milk Grotto In Bethlehem

After an Angel of the Lord visited Joseph in a dream and warned him that King Herod would seek out to harm the newborn Baby Jesus in order to protect his throne. They Holy family led by St. Joseph quickly fled into Egypt. But early on in their travels they found refuge from Herod’s soldiers in a miraculous grotto during the Massacre of the Innocents, today known as the Milk Grotto.

“When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.  Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt” – Matthew 2:13-14

According to Tradition, while the Holy Family was resting before continuing on their journey into Egypt, the Virgin Mary nursed a hungry Christ Child in this grotto. A single drop of Mary’s milk fell upon the ground inside the grotto, and the limestone miraculously turned from it’s original yellowish-brown to a pure white.

The Milk Grotto quickly became a site of pilgrimage for early Christians, who believed that mixing the soft white chalk of the cave in their food or drink will improve fertility and milk production. Couples having trouble conceiving would travel all across Christendom to the Milk Grotto in hopes the white powder would help bring them a child. By the late 4th century, a small chapel was built around the cave to show reverence for it’s miraculous nature.

In 1872, the current Chapel of the Milk Grotto was built over the site of the original 4th century chapel, with just fragments of the floor remaining. The chapel is located in Bethlehem on the West Bank, just a short distance south of the Church of the Nativity.

Today, pilgrims visiting the Milk Grotto are able to receive a small bag of the “milk powder” from the custodial friars of the grotto. Couples looking to benefit follow a forty day devotion, which includes drinking a small amount of the powder daily and saying a daily prayer for fertility. Every year, the friars receive pictures of newborn children and letters from thousands of couples attesting to the miraculous nature of the powder and how it helped them conceive.

The Flight To Egypt: Where They Holy Family Fled To

The Flight To Egypt: Where They Holy Family Fled To

After the three wise men announced to Herod “the Great” the birth of the newborn King of the Jews, he ordered the execution of all young male children around the city of Bethlehem in what is known as the Massacre of the Innocents, in order to protect his throne. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, and told him to flee to Egypt lest the Holy Child fall victim. Where did the Holy Family go when they fled into Egypt, and where did they stop along the way?

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” – Matthew 2:13

Unfortunately, the Bible lends little information as to the whereabouts of the Holy Family in the time they fled from Herod. In fact, out of the three Synoptic Gospels, only one passage in the Gospel of Matthew even mentions that they fled to Egypt.

While we have little scriptural knowledge of the Flight into Egypt, Coptic traditions lend some insight into where exactly the Holy Family went.

One Coptic tradition says a significant place of refuge was Wadi El Natrun, an oasis in northeastern Egypt, part of the modern-day Beheira Governorate.

It is said that when the Holy Family visited the village of Al-Homra within Wadi El Natrun, the infant Jesus caused a well to be opened. The well was miraculous for it had fresh water in a region surrounding by lakes saturated with salt. It is named Bir Mariam, or Mary’s Well. When the Holy Family left the region, it is said they blessed the desert.

Around 300 year laters, the deserts of Wadi El Natrun became the foundation for the many monastic sites that gave rise to the Desert Fathers. Monks today still inhabit the desert oasis that the Holy Family visited and blessed.

On their journey to refuge at Wadi El Natrun, the Holy Family made many stops for rest before continuing on. One of the most significant stops, according to tradition, was made at the Tree of the Virgin, a sycamore tree in a suburb of Cairo. Tradition says when the Holy Family stopped in Cairo, Mary rested against the tree and a spring of water sprang up to wash Jesus. For years, the faithful have taken bits of tree’s bark as it was believed to have healing properties.

While Coptic Christians have long made pilgrimages to the sites the Holy Family visited during their Flight into Egypt, Egypt is not an official pilgrimage site within the Church. However, in October Pope Francis approved Egypt to be added as an official place of pilgrimage. In 2018, the path the Holy Family took throughout Egypt will be part of the Vatican pilgrimage program.

“I am truly happy to come as a friend, as a messenger of peace and as a pilgrim to the country that gave more than 2,000 years ago refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family as they fled the threats of King Herod.” – Pope Francis

The Saints Quotes On Our Lady Of Sorrows The 2nd Sorrow

The Saints Quotes On Our Lady Of Sorrows The 2nd Sorrow

Compiled By St. Alphonsus Liguori (The Glories Of Mary)

​The 2nd Sorrow of Our Lady: 

The Cold Flight into Egypt:


1. What great tribulation than that of a newborn child, clinging to its mother’s bosom, should be forced to fly with the mother herself.

2. How piteous a spectacle it was to see that tender Virgin, with that newly born infant in her arms wandering through the world.

3. Authors generally agree, that it was four hundred miles so that it was a journey of thirty days.

4. The season was winter, and therefore they had to travel in snow, rain, wind and storms, and through bad and difficult roads.

5. Where could they have slept except on the sand, or under some trees in the wood, in the open air, exposed to robbers, or those wild beasts with which Egypt abounded.

6. The sight, then, of Jesus and Mary wandering like fugitives through this world, teaches us that we should also live as pilgrims on the earth.

7. Let us then love them, let us console Mary by receiving her son within our hearts, whom, even now, men continue to persecute with their sins.

The Saints Quotes On Our Lady Of Sorrows The 3rd Sorrow

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