Egypt reopens site of ancient Virgin Mary Tree

STORY: The Virgin Mary Tree has reopened to visitors in Egypt

after renovations to protect the ancient site were completed

Location: Cairo, Egypt

It is believed Jesus's family have passed this spot

on their journey through Egypt after they fled Judea

(Site manager, Asmaa Abdel Aziz): "Tree of 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. The tree had weakened in 1656, so Franciscan priests collected its branches and it sprouted again."

Renovations began in 2019

adding pillars to support and fences to protect the tree

as well as a material to keep it lean from pests

(Vistor, Mary Assa’ad): "It was not like this, it is now something else. The site used to be limited to the tree only surrounded by a wall. Now we are blessed, there have been renovations, thank God."