About the Virgin Mary Ezbawia
About the Virgin Mary Ezbawia,
Our Coptic Orthodox church celebrates the entry of our Lord Jesus Christ to the land of Egypt annually, on the 24th day of the month of Pashons, which is the 1st of June each year.
It is known that the Holy family, during their visit to Egypt, has blessed the place, which later became known as the Ezbawia Church. They passed through this place, which at that time was a field. When they arrived to this field St. Joseph greeted the farmer, who welcomed them. The man was sowing his field with watermelon seeds, while they sat to rest. The Virgin Mary asked him for water to drink, after which the man filled a bucket of water for them from the well, and they all drank. (This well is currently adjacent to the Ezbawia entrance on the left).
While the Holy Family was resting, our lady the Virgin Mary said to this farmer, “O good man, please note that we have escaped from Herod as per the orders of God, because he wanted to kill this innocent baby.” She explained to him why they escaped and she also explained the Divine Incarnation to him. The farmer was touched with her words.
Our lady the Virgin Mary then said to him, “Today you are sowing these seeds in the field, and with the power of my glorified Son Jesus Christ, you will see a marvelous surprise, through which you will believe in my Son. The miracle that you will see tomorrow is that your field, which you have planted today with watermelon seeds, tomorrow morning will be full of large watermelons.”
The man was astonished to hear this, especially because watermelons take a long time to grow, and what our lady the Virgin Mary was saying to him, surpassed the understanding of the human mind. She also said to him, “O good man please be aware that early tomorrow morning Herod’s soldiers will stop by and ask you about us, tell them that we passed by your field when you were sowing the seeds of these watermelons.” The man agreed and obeyed.
Having rested, St. Joseph bid the farmer farewell and he said to him, “Peace be with you, may the blessings of the glorified child, Jesus Christ whom you will believe in be with you.” The farmer bid them farewell and he followed them with his eyes until they were out of sight. They then continued their trip into a part of old Cairo, which today is known as the Church of “Abu Serga”.The farmer then sat to think about how this miracle happened, (as the seeds must remain in the ground for three months until maturity and then produce watermelon). The next morning, the man saw more than he would have expected, the watermelons filled his whole field, and he was astonished. He worshipped God and he thanked Him. He believed in our Lord Jesus Christ and he thanked Him for his blessed visit with Saint Mary his mother, andfor granting him this holy faith.
During this time, the Herod’s soldiers passed by and asked the farmer about the whereabouts of the Holy Family. The farmer in turn told them that this family passed by his field as he was planting the seeds of those watermelons (as the Virgin Mary asked him to say). When the soldiers heard this, they were filled with despair, and they looked at each other and said, “This family passed by here three months ago, our efforts are lost…” Afterwards, the soldiers returned back to Palestine, where they came from.