Return of the Holy Family to Galilee

The Holy Family

Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:19-23)

Keeping the child out of danger, the Holy Family sought refuge in Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15), where for the third time Joseph receives an order in a dream, and so appears obedient again, and even acts wisely and decisively. This occurs before he is told of Herod’s death, and then it is time for him to return with his family. The return is presented with a certain solemnity: «So he went to the land of Israel» (Matthew 2:21). […] The fact that Joseph, after having heard of the problems in Judea, did not simply continue his journey to Galilee on his own initiative – since the less cruel government of Herod – but had been sent there by an angel, has the purpose of demonstrating that the origin of Jesus of Galilee agrees with the diving guide of history»
(Benedict XVI, "The Infancy Narratives", Rizzoli, 2012, pp. 132-133).
The region of Galilee seemed to be a safe and welcoming place for the Holy Family. Here Jesus would grow up and learn in the daily life of a small and simple village located on the hills of the mainland.


After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead."
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Joseph’s dream
Jesus’ sermon in the synagogue