(Reuters) – Visitors to Egypt can once again stop by the historic ‘Tree of the Virgin Mary’ in Cairo’s Matariya district, a place where believers say the Holy Family passed during their journey through Egypt from Judea.
The tourist attraction and religious site underwent renovations in 2019, and the tree’s sprawling limbs now have supportive pillars and fencing.
“The Tree of the Virgin Mary is an ancient tree, a sycamore tree, that dates back to more than 2,000 years ago, under which the Holy Family took refuge during their escape to Egypt,” said site manager Asmaa Abdel Aziz.
“The tree had weakened in 1656, so Franciscan priests collected its branches and it sprouted again.”
(Reporting by Mai Shams El-Din and Mariam Rizk; Writing by Aurora Ellis; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)