|Wm Hole 1500s|
Mary the Mother of Jesus
(This would mean walking roughly the distance from DesMoines, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska and back -- once a year)
*After she conceived by the Holy Spirit of God she ‘walked’ traveled from Nazareth to south of Jerusalem where Elizabeth her cousin was pregnant with John the Baptist (130 miles, 209 km). She then ‘walked’ traveled back to Nazareth (130 miles, 209 km). Then with Joseph she ‘walked’ traveled back south of Jerusalem to Bethlehem (130 miles, 209 km). During all this walking travel of 390 miles (627 km) Mary ‘was’ with Child!
(This is roughly the distance between Washington D.C. and New York City. Imagine walking that roundtrip pregnant!)
|Philip Otto Runge 1805|
To learn about the legend of the Sycamore tree under which the Holy Family rested in Matariya, Egypt, go here.
* With Herod the King seeking to kill Jesus an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and he was told to flee to Egypt and they lived there till the death of Herod. Then he was told again by an angel to return to Israel and they came to live in Nazareth. (Matthew 2:13-23) The normal mileage from Bethlehem down to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through Gaza across the Sinai Desert and into Egypt to the Pyramids along the Nile would be about 350 miles (563 km). Mary traveled with the infant baby Jesus at about the age of two for 350 miles (563 km) through the desert.
(This would be roughly the equivalent of a walk from Boston to Philadelphia -- and back the long way)
|Dore. Click and print for a lovely coloring page!|
|Albrecht Durer. Click and Print|
for another great coloring page!
The Flight into Egypt, as well as the Riposo -- or rest -- of the Holy Family, has been a favorite subject of artists since the beginning of Christian art. There have been countless depictions! Many paintings are highly stylized and not very realistic, but this is a tendency we can easily forgive as they were graceful studies of a weary and gritty journey -- but a journey lit with the beauty of the Divine Presence -- the Child Jesus safe in the haven of His Mother and St. Joseph's obedient care.
Here are a few more paintings we've enjoyed looking up this morning:
|Can't find the painter of this beautiful depiction. Love the rich color and the pyramids in the distance. Where is their baggage, though?|
|George Hitchcock - 1892 This is a lovely pastoral view of the Flight - but we wonder if it really would have looked like this in the desert between Bethlehem and Egypt. And why is St. Joseph lagging so far behind?|
|George Hitchcock - 1895 A very different take on the same subject by Hitchcock, who seems to have moved onto Impressionism. This one feels lonely and cold to us, compared to the other. And again, St. Joseph lags way behind.|
|Luc Olivier Merson 1879. This painting captures the desert starkness, we think, and is very beautiful in its simplicity, but we have a hard time imagining Our Blessed Mother crawling up to sleep in the arms of the little sphynx..|
What do you think? Do you have a favorite?
*Repost from 2011 (Incidentally, one of the best research projects I ever got to do! Putting facts and mileage to the history made it more than just a story for me...)