The Flight into Egypt

Coptic Christians treasure their connection with the entry of the Holy Family into Egypt. In their early portrayals there is triumph associated with their arrival. Joseph follows behind. Palm trees are usually in the scene. The apocryphal Gospel of St. Matthew tells of the Holy Family resting under a palm tree, which bent down to nourish them. Later liturgy applied to St. Joseph, the just man, the Scripture verse “The just shall flourish like the palm tree” (Psalm 92:13), and St. Francis de Sales preached on how the palm tree was symbolic of Joseph’s virtues.