“Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee.” (Mat. 2:13)
“It seems to be soon after the slaughter of the innocents that Herod died and went to Judgement. What an awful account he had to give!”
Source: JESUS OF NAZARETH THE STORY OF HIS LIFE WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN Pages 74-77
For Parents to Teach to Their Children
Readings for the Family
The story of “The Flight to Egypt” is short but so important. Here is an excerpt from Mother Loyola’s JESUS OF NAZARETH WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN in 1907 at the turn of the century, more than one hundred years ago. Her stories follow the Holy Scriptures, but she adds rich color with charming and engaging story-telling for children. Here is a excerpt:
“At last they ( the Three Kings or “Magi”) had to go. They were so happy, so glad they had come. They would go back now to their own land and tell their people all that they had seen and heard. And as long as they lived they would remember their visit to Bethlehem, and keep in their hearts the memory of the Mother and the Son. They had arranged to return by way of Jerusalem, but, being told by God not to go back to Herod, they went to their own country another way.
Meanwhile the king (Herod) was waiting and wondering. Why did not the Magi come back? Could they have found him out and tricked him who thought himself so clever in tricking others…Finding at last that he had been outwitted by these simple-looking men, he was furious, and, sending his soldiers, killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the country round from two years old and under….And where was He whose life the cruel king was seeking?…
The night after the departure of the Magi, as Joseph slept, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him: ‘Arise, he said, ‘and take the Child and His Mother and fly into gypt, and be there until I shall tell thee. or it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him.’
Without asking a single question, Joseph arose, went to Mary and told her of the order. Like him, asking no questions, she rose quickly, put together some provisions, took her little Babe and wrapped Him up in the few garments she had, whilst Joseph collected his tools and went out to saddle the ass.. Then he helped Mary to mount, laid the Holy Child in her arms, closed the door of the cottage, and wen out into the night.” Pages 75-76
“The Feast of the Holy Innocents” from USCCB.org
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.’
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.”
The “Slaughter of the Holy Innocents” from Franciscan Media
“Saint of the Day, December 28, 2018, The Holy Innocents”
“The Story of the Holy Innocents”
“Herod ‘the Great,’ king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother, and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.
Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was ‘greatly troubled’ when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of ‘the newborn king of the Jews,’ whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also ‘do him homage.’ They found Jesus, offered him their gifts, and warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.
Herod became furious and ‘ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.’ The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children…’ (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob (Israel). She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.”
A Beautiful Poem about The Fight Into Egypt
“Lonely travellers from the stable
Out beneath the hard blue sky
Journeying, wandering, hoping, praying
For the safety of their child
While our mother Rachel’s weeping
Fills the streets of Bethlehem.
Warned by angels, moved to save him
Who was born our kind to save,
Joseph leads his holy family
Far from Herod and harm’s way.
Mary shielding and consoling
Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Fleeing from the land of promise
They in Egypt find a home
Strange the workings of God’s mercy —
House of bondage now God’s throne.
But for sons who all were murdered
Sorrow breaks the House of Bread.
True the tale of flight and exile.
Out of Egypt comes God’s Son.
Angels tell of Herod’s dying.
All is ended, all begun.
Jesus will grow up in Nazareth
And the world will all be stunned.
Words: Copyright © 1997 by Vincent Wm Uher III
Our Art Project–Watercolor of Flight into Egypt
This watercolor was inspired by John Lautermilch’s painting “Escape to Egypt.”
To paint a desert scene like this, start with watercolor paper and any type of watercolor product–cake-style watercolors, soluble crayons, or liquid watercolors. Use a big brush for background and small one for details, if desired. I also added splatter for interest and fun! Invite your child to make big, bold, fast marks in three areas of the paper–foreground, background in distance, and sky. Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and the donkey can be painted as an abstract silhouette in gray or black. Encourage your child to try the silhouette–they could even paint dark stripes to symbolically represent the family and donkey. The goal is to remember the story of the lonely flight into Egypt through difficult terrain to save and protect Baby Jesus from Herod.