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The Baptism of Our Lord

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The Baptism of Our Lord

The Octave-Day of the Epiphany

On the great Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th, three mysteries are traditionally celebrated: the Adoration of Our Lord by the Magi, the Baptism of Our Lord in the River Jordan, and the Miracle of the Wedding at Cana, which all took place on the same date. These are the three great manifestations, or “epiphanies”, that led to Christ’s three years of public life: first the Epiphany, then the Baptism, then the Miracle at Cana. On the Feast of the Epiphany itself, the Magi and their gifts take precedence, representing Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles after His manifestation to the Jewish shepherds at His Nativity. The Wedding at Cana, when Christ manifested His glory by His first public miracle, is traditionally the focus of the Second Sunday after Epiphany. On the traditional Octave-Day of the Epiphany, January 13th, the centerpiece is the Baptism, Christ’s manifestation as God’s beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased, as we are told by the Holy Gospel. The Baptism of Our Lord is also the reason for the traditional blessing of holy water on the eve of the Epiphany, a rite which originated in the East and maintains a presence in the West to this day.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 13th

THE Octave of the Epiphany of Our Lord.

At Rome, on the Lavican road, the crowning of forty holy soldiers, a reward they merited by confessing the true faith, under the emperor Gallienus.

In Sardinia, St. Potitus, martyr, who, having suffered much under the emperor Antoninus and the governor Gelasius, was at last put to death by the sword.

At Singidonum (now Belgrade), in Upper Moesia, of the holy martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus, who were severely tormented and drowned in the river Danube, under the emperor Licinius.

At Cordova, the holy martyrs Gumesindus, priest, and Servideus, monk.

At Poitiers, in France, the birthday of St. Hilary, bishop and confessor of the Catholic faith, which he courageously defended, and for which he was banished four years to Phrygia, where, among other miracles, he raised a man from the dead. Pius IX declared him Doctor of the Church. His festival is celebrated on the 14th of this month.

At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, St. Leontius, a bishop, who strongly opposed the Gentiles, under Licinius, and the Arians, under Constantine.

At Treves, St. Agritius, bishop.

In the monastery of Verzy, St. Viventius, confessor.

At Amasea, in Pontus, St. Glaphyra, virgin.

At Milan, in the monastery of St. Martha, blessed Veronica of Binasco, virgin of the Order of St. Augustine.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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