Sonoma Valley Sun


Three Kings Day

Posted on January 7, 2024 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The conclusion of the Christmas season was celebrated at St. Leo’s parish on January 6 in Agua Caliente as the congregation commemorated Epiphany, referred to in other cultures as the visit of The Magi to Bethlehem.

As part of the 12 Days of Christmas from Dec 25 to January 6, the tradition of commemorating the visit of the Magi has been upheld for centuries. In some cultures the giving of gifts is done on January 6 because it was the Magi that gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The word Epiphany comes from Greek meaning to manifest or appear.

The Magi followed a star and it lead them to Bethlehem as the narrative says in the Gospel of Matthew.

While most people consider Christmas over and done with once gifts are opened on Dec. 25, in other parts of the world such as Mexico, the Christmas season isn’t over until the Magi make their visit. Some traditions refer to Epiphany as “three kings day.”

Fr. Jojo Puthussery, Pastor of St. Leo’s, was pleased to see the attendees from both the 8am Mass in Spanish and the 9:30am in English remain afterwards and enjoy hot chocolate and “Epiphany bread.” Or, as it is called in Spanish “Rosca de Reyes” (Three Kings Bread), traditionally served in honor of the occasion.

It is also the custom in Mexico and other countries to have gifts given by the Magi and not Santa Claus at the Epiphany January 6 rather than Dec 25.

Down through the centuries because of the mention of the three gifts of Frankincense. gold and myrrh that the Magi were three. Yet as theologians and historians point out, the Gospel of Matthew make no reference to how many were the Magi only that they came from the East.

The clear sunny skies that Sunday made for a pleasant Epiphany celebration enjoyed by all.

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