By Sarah Levesque (Rated G)
Little indeed is known for sure about the magi who visited the child Jesus, bringing Him gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew is the only Gospel writer to mention them, detailing their visit in the second chapter of his gospel. Matthew does not call them kings, but ‘magi’ or ‘wise men’. He says they are from the East – likely from Babylon or Persia, where the religion of the Medes still was practiced, as the magi were priests of the Medes (as the historian Herodotus relates). Matthew also does not say how many magi visited. Some of the early Church Fathers mentioned three magi, one for each gift, while Eastern traditions have twelve. Roman Catholic tradition gives three names to the magi – Caspar (or Gaspar), Melchior, and Balthazar – though other traditions have other names.
In any case, the magi used the knowledge they had been granted to find the Christ, and made a likely perilous journey to worship Him. They consulted those who knew more about Him – Herod and the Jewish priests – and did not stop until they found Him, worshiped Him, and presented Him with gifts. May we, too, journey until we see Christ face to face.
Sources: Matthew 2; https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09527a.htm