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Epiphany of the Lord

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  • Feast Day: January 6th

The Catholic Church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6th.  He is declared as Lord and Ruler, Kingship, and Power.  Through this explanation the Catholic Church proclaims that the Feast brings to a perfect fulfillment all the purposes of Advent.  The Solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated either on January 6 or, according to the decision of the Episcopal conference, on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8th.  

The young Messiah, Jesus, is revealed to the world as the light of the nations.  Yet, as the Magnificat in the Vespers reminds us, three mysteries are encompassed in this solemnity – The Adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Baptism of Christ and the wedding feast at Cana.  Many times candles or lamps are placed around the sanctuary and in other parts of the Church to honor Christ, revealed as light of the Gentiles.  Generally it is customary to replace the images of the shepherds at the crib, with the three Magi and their gifts.  

The word “Epiphany” means manifestation.  It is today, that the Church celebrates the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world.  After being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem, He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to Adore Him.  Christian tradition sees in the Magi, and their being revealed the Christ Child as our Lord, the gift of universal salvation for all the peoples of the earth.    

St. Leo brings out a point in a sermon, where he shows the adoration of the Magi the beginnings of Christian faith, the time when the great mass of the heathen sets off to follow the star which summons it to seek its Savior.  Surely, the Magi traveling to seek out the Christ Child as their Lord and Savior is a sign of the beginning of Christian faith.