Feast of Debre Qusquam

Every year on November 15, the Ethiopian Church commemorates the return of the Holy family to their home land, Israel and their relief from the threat of King Herod, following a period of 40 days of devotion and unique Church services in memory of the hardship the Holy Family suffered during their flight. It is a place where the Saint Gabriel revealed to Saint Joseph that king Herold has died, as written in the Gospel of Matthew; “Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”(Matthew 2:19-20)

It also venerates the appearance of our Lord and Jesus Christ and His disciples on Mount Qusquam for the consecration of its Church. In scripted in the Ethiopian Synaxaruim (Page 122) “our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ and His disciples were gathered together on Mount Kueskuam, and He consecrated His Tabernacle and Church, and performed the consecration of the Offering with His disciples on that day.  This was the first consecration [of the Offering] on Mount Kueskuam, according to what Saint Theophilus and Saint Cyril, Archbishop of the city of Alexandria, testify concerning this matter.”

Qusquam in Arabic is the name of mountain in Upper Egypt on which the monastery and Holy Church of Al- Muharraka are still standing. The Monastery marks where the Holy Family is said to have dwelt during their exile in Egypt. The Homily of Theophilus compares the Holy Mountain in Egypt with the Holy mountain of Zion and Refers to Mary as “Mary of Zion.”

May the prayer and intercession of Our Holy Mother be up on us all!