Magi

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According to the [[Gospel of Matthew]] (2:1-16), the wise men or '''Magi''' followed a star to the birth place of Christ. It was written that they were from the east and that they brought three gifts to Christ; gold, frankincense and myrrh. Since there were three gifts, it has been inferred that there were three Magi.  
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[[Image:Nativity of Christ - Adoration of the Magi.jpg|thumb|right|Adoration of the Magi icon.]]
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According to the [[Gospel of Matthew]] (2:1-16), the wise men or '''Magi''' followed a star to the birth place of Christ. It was written that they were from the east and that they brought three gifts to Christ; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Since there were three gifts, it has been inferred that there were three Magi.  
  
The names for the Magi vary in different traditions. In Latin tradition dating from the seventh century, they are given as Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  The Eastern feast day of the Magi is [[December 25]]. The traditional Western commemorations are January 1 for St Gaspar, January 6 for St Melchior, and January 11 for St Balthasar.
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In Latin tradition dating from the seventh century,(from a greek manuscript) their names are given as Gaspar (or Caspar/Jasper), Melchior and Balthasar.  According to one tradition, the Magi were baptized by the [[Apostle Thomas]], and became bishops. The Church commemorates the Magi as saints; the Eastern feast day of the Magi is [[December 25]].
  
There are numerous variations of the names of the Magi in Greek but the most common variation is for the name Gaspar which in Greek is Ιάσπερος (yiasperos) which translates into English as [[Jasper]].
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There are numerous variations of the names of the Magi in Greek, but the most common variation is for the name Gaspar which in Greek is Γιάσπερος (''Iasperos'') which is Anglicized as ''Jasper''.
  
The name day for anyone with the name Jasper, Gaspar, Melchior or Balthasar is [[December 25]].
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==Star of Bethlehem==
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[[Image:Nativity1.jpg|right|thumb|The Nativity of Christ with the Star of Bethlehem depicted top center.]]
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In the [[Orthodox Church]], the Star of Bethlehem is not interpreted as an astronomical event, but rather as a supernatural occurrence, whereby an angel was sent by God to lead the Magi to the Christ Child. This is illustrated in the Troparion of the Nativity:
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<blockquote>'''Apolytikion: (Fourth Tone)'''<br>
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Your birth, O Christ our God,<br>
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dawned the light of knowledge upon the earth.<br>
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For by Your birth those who adored stars ''(i.e. Magi)''<br>
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were taught by a star<br>
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to worship You, the Sun of Justice,<br>
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and to know You, Orient from on High.<br>
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O Lord, glory to You.<ref>"[http://www.goarch.org/special/listen_learn_share/nativity Hymns of the Feast]". ''Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'' Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. 2009.</ref></blockquote>
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In Orthodox icons, the Star of Bethlehem is often depicted not as golden, but as a dark aureola, a semicircle at the top of the icon, indicating the [[Uncreated Light]] of Divine [[grace]], with a ray pointing to "the place where the young child lay" (Matt 2:9). Sometimes the faint image of an angel is drawn inside the aureola.
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==See also==
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* [[Nativity]]
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==References==
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<div><references/></div>
  
 
==External Links==
 
==External Links==
*Article in [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09527a.htm ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'']
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* Drum, W. (1910). ''[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09527a.htm Magi].'' In: '''The Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent).''' New York: Robert Appleton Company.
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'''Wikipedia'''
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* [[w:Biblical Magi|Biblical Magi]]
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* [[w:Adoration of the Magi in Art|Adoration of the Magi in Art]]
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* [[w:Star of Bethlehem|Star of Bethlehem]]
  
 
[[Category:Biblical Saints]]
 
[[Category:Biblical Saints]]
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[[el:Τρεις μάγοι]]
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[[ro:Magi]]

Revision as of 14:24, December 25, 2010

Adoration of the Magi icon.

According to the Gospel of Matthew (2:1-16), the wise men or Magi followed a star to the birth place of Christ. It was written that they were from the east and that they brought three gifts to Christ; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Since there were three gifts, it has been inferred that there were three Magi.

In Latin tradition dating from the seventh century,(from a greek manuscript) their names are given as Gaspar (or Caspar/Jasper), Melchior and Balthasar. According to one tradition, the Magi were baptized by the Apostle Thomas, and became bishops. The Church commemorates the Magi as saints; the Eastern feast day of the Magi is December 25.

There are numerous variations of the names of the Magi in Greek, but the most common variation is for the name Gaspar which in Greek is Γιάσπερος (Iasperos) which is Anglicized as Jasper.

Contents

Star of Bethlehem

The Nativity of Christ with the Star of Bethlehem depicted top center.

In the Orthodox Church, the Star of Bethlehem is not interpreted as an astronomical event, but rather as a supernatural occurrence, whereby an angel was sent by God to lead the Magi to the Christ Child. This is illustrated in the Troparion of the Nativity:

Apolytikion: (Fourth Tone)
Your birth, O Christ our God,
dawned the light of knowledge upon the earth.
For by Your birth those who adored stars (i.e. Magi)
were taught by a star
to worship You, the Sun of Justice,
and to know You, Orient from on High.
O Lord, glory to You.[1]

In Orthodox icons, the Star of Bethlehem is often depicted not as golden, but as a dark aureola, a semicircle at the top of the icon, indicating the Uncreated Light of Divine grace, with a ray pointing to "the place where the young child lay" (Matt 2:9). Sometimes the faint image of an angel is drawn inside the aureola.

See also

References

  1. "Hymns of the Feast". Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. 2009.

External Links

  • Drum, W. (1910). Magi. In: The Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent). New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Wikipedia

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