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The Feast of the Epiphany

{ Tags: \ Jan6 }

The feast of the Epiphany celebrates the manifestation (epifanein epiphanein) of the Lord to the pagans. Originally, the feast was celebrated on January 6, but now in the Philippines, it is celebrated on a Sunday. As the feast of January 6, it was also known as the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

The feast of the Epiphany is still associated with the visit of the three Magi, which biblical reflection on prophecies regarding the birth of the Messiah have turned into "kings." An article from transmits to us the idea that the three kings were from India, Chaldea and Persia. A text from Marco Polo points to a place called Saba in Persia (south of Teheran, Iran) as their resting place, although the Germans would point to the Cologne Cathedral as the shrine where their remains lie.

The three kings — Gaspar (Casper), Melchior, Balthazar — brought to the child Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold is for kingship, frankincense is for divinity and myrrh is for his death are the traditional meanings given to the gifts. Biblical exegetes would prefer that the gifts were for Christ recognized as king, priest and prophet. The reason is that the magi from Persia were kings and priests and — taking into consideration their work as astrologers — prophets of their people. The gifts were in a sense in recognition that here on the manger is one of their own.

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