In this lesson we focus on the devotions, prayers, Scriptures, and catechism passages on the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord which is celebrated on January 6th. This is the 12th day of Christmas and is a Holy Day of Obligation in some countries.
All CatechismClass Lessons follow our time-tested 7 Step format: Introduction, Opening Prayers, Scripture and Commentary, Catechism Passages, Integration of the Lesson Topic, an activity, and a closing prayer. Quizzes end each of the lessons.Preview This Lesson
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The Tomb of the Three Wise Men
in the Cathedral of Cologne, Germany
This week the Church honors and commemorates the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is considered one of the High Feasts in the Church year.
According to the Tradition of the Catholic Church, the three Kings (Wise men) mentioned in Matthew 2:1-9 represent the three ages and three "radical types" of man, each wise man further representing one of Noah's descendants (Sem, Cham, and Japheth). According to the Tradition of the Catholic Church, there truly were three Wise Men: St. Caspar, St. Melchior, and St. Balthasar. St. Casper is traditionally described as young, beardless and the descendant of Ham who brought frankincense to the Child Christ. St. Melchior was old and had a white-colored beard; he was the descendant of Sam who brought gold to Jesus. And finally, St. Balthasar was a bearded, black descendant of Japheth, in the prime of his life, who brought myrrh. These are all related from the words of the Venerable Bede.
Tradition also has it that the kings were baptized by St. Thomas, and they are considered Saints of the Church. Though their feasts aren't celebrated liturgically, the dates given for them in the martyrology are as follows: St. Caspar on 1 January; St. Melchior on 6 January; and St. Balthasar on 11 January.
Homily of St. John Chyrsostom on the Epiphany
When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying: Where is that is born king of the Jews. For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.
Isaias had foretold that this would come to pass, saying: The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Apha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and showing forth praise to the Lord.[Isa. 60: 6] This is He, Christ the Lord, Whom the Magi, having seen the sign of the star, announce as the King of the Jews.
Things unheard of, and exceeding the measure of human astonishment, all took place together at the Birth of Our Lord. An angel appears and speaks to Zachary, promising that to Elizabeth, his wife, a son will be born, and he, not believing the angel, is stricken dumb: she that was sterile conceives: in the womb of a Virgin a Child takes life. John, inspired in his mother’s womb, leaps for joy: Christ the Lord New-Born is announced by an angel. He is proclaimed by the shepherds as the salvation of the world. Angels exult, the shepherds rejoice. Upon... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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