The readings at this season remind us not just of the illustrious Epiphany visitors to the cradle of Our Lord, but of the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. So I was moved by a report about Carmel in that country in the latest issue of OCD Communicationes, a news bulletin about Carmelites across the world sent out regularly from Rome. The Discalced Carmelites arrived in Egypt in 1926, the year after the canonisation of Therese. The report states that today St Therese's Basilica is a meeting place for adherents of various communions and faiths who come there to pray, inspired by 'the person of Therese who won over the hearts of everyone with her simplicity and love'. Wanting to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Therese in 2023, the Carmelites of Egypt launched a painting competition on the theme 'St Therese and Egypt'. Among the entries submitted were icons and they will remain on permanent exhibition in the Basilica 'as visible signs of Egyptians' love for little St Therese and of the love that the Saint of the Roses has for Egypt'.
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