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The Epiphany

The Epiphany of Our Lord

Three Kings’ Day & the Twelfth Day of Christmas

For centuries the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity was celebrated on this date, and when the Church mandated that Christmas be observed on December 25th, she wisely retained January 6th as the great feast of the Epiphany, or “Manifestation”, with a special focus on the adoration of the Incarnation by not just the Jews but all the Gentiles, represented by the Three Magi. Two other mysteries are also celebrated today. The Baptism of Our Lord in the River Jordan by His holy cousin St. John is traditionally honored on the Octave-Day of the Epiphany, January 13th; and the Miracle of the Wedding at Cana is traditionally the focus of the Second Sunday after Epiphany; but both are also mentioned on this Feast of the Epiphany, because all three mysteries are known through tradition to have occurred on the same date. Along with Christmas, Easter & Pentecost, the Epiphany is one of the four great principle feasts of the Church, all four traditionally possessing octaves; and today the Noveritis will be proclaimed, listing the dates of the moveable feasts like Easter in the coming year. Also honored on this day are the Three Kings themselves, Ss. Caspar, Balthazar & Melchior, whose great shrine is at Cologne in Germany.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 6th

THE Epiphany of Our Lord.

In the diocese of Rheims, the martyrdom of St. Macra, virgin, who, in the persecution of Diocletian, was cast into the fire by order of the governor Rictiovarus. As she remained uninjured, she had her breasts cut off, was imprisoned in a foul dungeon, rolled upon broken earthenware and burning coals, and finally she gave up her soul while engaged in prayer.

In Africa, the commemoration of many holy martyrs, who were burned at the stake in the persecution of Severus.

At Rennes, in France, St. Melanius, bishop and confessor, who, after a life remarkable for virtues innumerable, with his thoughts constantly fixed on heaven, gloriously departed from this world.

At Florence, St. Andrew Corsini, a Florentine Carmelite and bishop of Fiesoli. Being celebrated for miracles, he was ranked among the Saints by Urban VIII. His festival is kept on the 4th of February.

At Geris, in Egypt, St. Nilammon, anchoret, who, whilst he was carried to a bishopric against his will, gave up his soul to God in prayer.

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

℟. Thanks be to God.

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