Take me to Jabal al-tit, Where St. Mary will give me power… These are quotes from a song in the celebrations of the Virgin Mary in Upper Egypt last May. The celebrations included making tattoos of crosses, sacrifices, festivals and songs. The scene was in Samalout, Minya, where Muslims and Christians shared the celebrations in wonderful national unity.
The celebrations last for 7 days in the Monastery of Our Lady in Minya that was blessed by the visit of the Holy Family 2000 years ago. About 2 millions visit the monastery in May, which is known as the festival that is celebrated after Easter till the resurrection feast.
I remember on the occasion of the fasting of our Lady about 50 years ago when I was a child who had to undergo a surgery that was considered risky at that time. My mother promised to fast one week extra before the fasting of our Lady asking for her intersession and blessings to save my life. Apparently, she had to follow her promise for the rest of her life after the operation succeeded.
On that occasion, I hope scholars will write books about this festivals of national unity related to the Virgin Mary in Egypt. However, many intellectuals may refuse such public festivals of the simple Muslim and Christian people. Yet, public music and worships are the reason all religions spread. Many happy returns on the occasion of the fasting of the Virgin Mary.