S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Friday, January 06, 2006

Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany

Very early in its history, the Western Church assigned to January 6 the manifestation of God associated with the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child in Bethlehem (which in the Eastern Church is associated with the Nativity) This is now known as the Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany which the Roman Church celebrates on the Sunday after January 1. The Magi or Three Kings from the East are described in Scripture as three regal or noble persons who were attracted to Bethlehem by a star which stood over the place announcing the birth of the Savior of the World. Bearing precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, they paid homage to the King of Kings and were received by Him in His manifestation to the Gentiles. The Roman liturgy honors on January 6 the visit of the Magi exclusively, but retains in the Antiphon at the Magnificat an echo from the distant past in the following words:

We keep this day holy in honor of three miracles:
this day a star led the Wise Men to the manger;
this day water was turned into wine at the
marriage feast; this day Christ chose to be baptized
by John in the Jordan, for our salvation, allelulia.

Source: from the website of the Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church of the Byzantine Catholic Diocese of Passaic, New Jersey, USA.

Traditionally, the Three Wise Men (Three Kings), also called as the Magi, are remembered today. The were the ones who offered the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, to the Christ-Child. They were guided and ushered to the place where the Christ-Child was by the Star


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