An investigation of Matarea
(Place of residence of the Sacred Family in
P. Jorge de Jesús Fuentes Davison, sdb.
We know, by means of the main Work
of the great mystic Maria Valtorta (“The Gospel as it has been revealed
to me”), that the town in which the Sacred Family lived in
called MATAREA (Cfr. 1: 36.1; 2: 119.1; 4:
247.8). Also, the “Indice
e Carta della Palestina”,
written by Hans J. Hopfen
was made specifically from this work and for the service of the same–,
indicates…“it was the place of refuge of the Sacred Family during the
Egypt. Today, 10
kilometers [=6.2miles] to the North of
Cairo, there is a village
called MATARIYA” (p.86).
Interested in the subject, I investigated this place and found something
interesting to share with Valtorta’s readers.
Firstly, I tried to locate the place in a recent map of
Egypt, and I
realized that there was a little bit of confusion. A big map, included in
the December 2008 National Geographic magazine in Spanish, whose main
article is “The true King Herode”, locates a place called AL
MATARIYA, 150 kilometers [=93.2 miles] to the northeast of Cairo, which
is obviously not the place which Hopfen mentions in his Index (10
kilometers to the North of Cairo).
After consulting some other maps of
Egypt on the Internet,
I found that a place named Al Matariyah (well-known today also as
“Ein (or Ain) Shams”), was the old
HELIOPOLIS (not to be confused with the
Heliopolis suburb, that is on the east side
Cairo). Curiously, I found
that the old
Heliopolis, was the town where
the first Egyptian priests lived, some 2500 years before Christ was born.
It was their place of residence.
And it is good to know that this place, Al Matariyah, also belongs
to a more extensive district of El Cairo called AL-ZEITOUN. Surprisingly,
I realized that Al Matariyah (the old HELIOPOLIS) is not 10
kilometers away from Cairo, as Hopfen stated in his Index, it is… ¡IN
THE NORTHEASTERN SIDE OF THE CITY OF CAIRO! (in what is now named THE
OLD CITY) … It is just a suburb of the City, but very important because of
Even, in a simple map of the city of
Cairo, this place is totally
identified, and, to my astonishment (according to several articles
obtained on the Internet), there is an ancient tradition of devotion
towards the Sacred Family in that district, for many centuries past.
Tourists who write on the Internet of their experience, while visiting
this district of El Cairo, say that one can even breathe a Sacred Family
environment at that place (“Entering a place called Al Matariyah you
seem to be entering another world. Although it is a somewhat small place,
everything is very well organized, and there is much vegetation there.
Another aspect of this area is that, everything, within this region, takes
the name of the Virgin Mary: there is a Coptic Church dedicated to the
Virgin Mary, also a Mosque dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a well and a tree
related to Mary and Jesus, and even bricks of the house of the Sacred
In fact, as this tourist already mentioned above, there is a famous
orthodox coptic church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Al Matariyah.
It is in a district called Zeitoun in
Cairo. But what was most
pleasing and astonishing for me to discover, was that in Holy Week of 1968
(on April 2nd, Tuesday), the Virgin Mary began to appear
publicly to thousands of people, for nearly two years, … right ON THE
TOP PART OF THIS CHURCH, where the domes are! These appearances are
famous throughout the world, because there are thousands of photos and
videos of the luminosities with the form of the Virgin Mary that appeared.
In fact all the information is available on the Internet.
I say that these appearances of the Virgin Mary at this place are not
random. I guess she appeared exactly on the site where she lived with the
Lord Jesus and
Saint Joseph when they came to live in
Egypt. I dare say
that this site is particularly special to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary,
because this was the place where the Sacred Family lived while exiled in
Egypt. And this
place, is exactly in MATAREA. This site was mentioned by Maria
Valtorta (for the first time in her Work) on January 25th,
1944, as the place where the Sacred Family lived in Egypt; that is, more
than 24 years before the appearances of Our Blessed Mother in that same
place in 1968. Although oral tradition for centuries kept this place as
one of the many places the Sacred Family visited in their journey, we can
now say that the Virgin Mary has confirmed, with her appearances, that
this is the place where she lived with Jesus and Joseph, as Valtorta
revealed in her writings. And it is interesting, that this little 250
square meters [=2690 sq.ft.] orthodox Church, where the miracle
appearances took place, was constructed by the copts (orthodox christians)
Finally, I observe that we are not dealing with an unknown or lost town of
Egypt (not 10 km north of
Cairo as Hopfen suggested, nor 150 kms from
Cairo, as some maps indicate); we
are speaking about the great City of
Cairo where everything about the Sacred
place. Of course, in that time, Matarea was only a little village on the
Cairo, which was founded 116
years before Christ was born.
Certainly, it is a small and insignificant detail in the life of Jesus.
But for those who care about even the slightest details about Our Lord´s
life, they will be happy to know this information. And for those of us who
also believe and share Valtorta´s Work, the meaning of this is certainly
By the way it was interesting for me to find out, with the Goggle Earth
program, that the distance (in a straight line) between Bethlehem and Al
Matariya is 432 kilometers [=268.4 miles]. It must have taken at least one
month and a half or even two, for the Sacred Family to reach
Egypt. And the
distance between their home (where the Church stands now) and the biggest
of the three Pyramids is 24 kilometers [=14.9 miles]. (Valtorta says that
the Sacred Family could see one of the Pyramids from their home. Cfr.
36: 1). And also, by the way, the time that Jean Aulanger, the ancient
Calendar expert, calculates the Sacred Family remained in
Egypt, taking his
calculations from the information Valtorta mentions in her Work, was
around two years and seven months. Almost three years in
Egypt, out of the
thirty of the Lord´s private life, and then… another three to save
mankind. Those were the mysterious plans of God.