Sunday, January 13, 2013


      Three Wise Men or Kings from the East, were a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of the Christian tradition.
      This year my good friends Jesus and Janice Hernandez gave me a cake called a Roscón de Reyes. It is a ring-shaped, bought cake that contained four small figurines of the Baby Jesus. The one who gets the figurine holds a party next year. I found out the tradition is popular in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico.
        Traditions identify a variety of different names for the Magi. In the Western Christian church they have been commonly known as: Melchior, a Persian scholar or king; Gaspar, an Indian scholar or king; and Balthazar, an Arabian scholar or king
      The Gospel of Matthew is the only one to mention the Magi, stating that they came "from the east" to worship the Christ, "born King of the Jews." Although the account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that they were three. What amazes me is they prostrated themselves in front of a Child Jesus. That means in all their finery, they got down on the floor, on foreheads, and worshipped. They were honored to do this as they knew who He was.
     A Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral, according to tradition, contains the bones of the Three Wise Men. Reputedly they were first discovered by Saint Helena on her famous pilgrimage to Palestine and the Holy Lands. She took the remains to the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; they were later moved to Milan (some sources say by the city's bishop, Eustorgius I before being sent to their current resting place by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I in AD 1164. The Milanese celebrate their part in the tradition by holding a medieval costume parade every 6 January. (Thanks to Wikipedia)

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