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|Tema: Hieronymus Bosch. Epiphany (Triptych). c. 1510. Lun Feb 05, 2007 10:00 am|| |
Adoration of the Magi (also Adoration of the Kings) - The Gospel of St. Matthew (2:1-12) tells how certain Magi (the Wisemen) from the Orient arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We observed the rising of his star, and we have come to pay him homage.' (Mat. 2:2-3). King Herod and his court were greatly perturbed on hearing this; he asked the magi to report to him after they found the Child, so he too could go and worship him. Guided by the star, the magi discovered the Infant in a house at Bethlehem, worshiped him and presented him with their gifts. A dream warned the magi not to return to Herod’s court and they set off instead for their own country by another route.
Apocryphal gospels have enriched and embelished Matthew's story. In the 2nd-3rd centuries A.D. the wisemen were also refered to as kings. In, approximately, the 9th they were given names: Caspar, or Jaspar, usually the oldest, Balthazar, and Melchior, usually the youngest. Though Matthew did not reveal the number of the magi, they are traditionally thought of as being three because of the number of symbolic gifts they presented to Christ: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Later the three magi (or kings) came to personify the three parts of the known world: Asia, Africa, and Europe.