The Flight into Egypt (1 A.D.)
It was on the seventeenth of February, fifty five days after the birth of Jesus (Note: the term 1 A.D. is applied to the last seven days of the calendar year when Our Lord was born, and to the twelve months of the calendar year that followed them), when King Herod’s soldiers — sent to slaughter all little boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years old or under, in order to get rid of Jesus — were getting perilously near the cave at Bethlehem, where at first they little expected Our Lord to be, that Saint Joseph and Our Lady set off with their Divine Child, left the land of the Jews and went off to a land of the Gentiles. They took no one with them, by way of servants or friends, as Saint Peter Chrysologus tells us. The town to which the Holy Family fled was called Fostat. It was three hundred miles from Bethlehem. A church has been erected there, on the site of the house where the Holy Family lived during their exile. The little town where the Holy Family stayed in Egypt was not far from Heliopolis, a city in which — when Jesus, Mary and Joseph passed through it — statues of pagan gods crashed to the ground. Both Fostat and Heliopolis are not far from Cairo in Egypt.