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The Pope blesses the Holy Family Pilgrimages in Egypt after the Minister of Tourism’s visit

2017-10-04

Cairo, Egypt, October 3rd, 2017 - Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, H.E. Yahia Rashed, has traveled to the Vatican along with a high-level delegation, in order to attend the Mass which will be held on Wednesday where the Pope will be, for the first time, blessing the Coptic pilgrimage of “the Flight of the Holy Family in Egypt.” The historic blessing is a symbolic move by the Pope and highlights the similarities between “the Flight of the Holy Family in Egypt” and other pilgrimages that have been blessed by the Vatican, such as the olive tree pilgrimage in Jerusalem. The blessing also marks a significant landmark for the Egyptian tourism industry, with Egypt being officially included in the Vatican’s pilgrimage program of 2018.

Commenting on the blessing, H.E. Minister Yehia Rashed said “The Pope's blessing of the iconic the Flight of the Holy Family in Egypt comes as a culmination of the efforts exerted by his excellency President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, to support tourism and its development in Egypt. It also highlights the continuous efforts exerted by the ministry to re-integrate the path of the Holy Family on to the religious world tourism map and emphasizes the success achieved by Pope Francis' visit to Egypt, last April.” H.E. Rashed also confirmed the Ministry of Tourism is interested in reviving religious tourism within the country, and that the revival of Holy Family pilgrimages, is a key priority for them.

It is worth mentioning that the Minister of Tourism had already visited the Vatican more than once, with his most recent visit taking place last May, following the historic visit of Pope Francis to Egypt in April, to discuss ways of cooperation between Egypt and the Vatican in promoting religious tourism in Egypt; especially with regards to the journey of the Holy Family, which is expected to attract a large segment of tourists interested in this type of tourism.