Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110

Holy Days

Epiphany  ~ January 6

The Epiphany of our Lord is the wonderful liturgical festival observed on January 6. It is the oldest of the Christmas festivals and originally the most important.

The word epiphany comes from the Greek noun epiphaneia, which means "shining forth," "manifestation," or "revelation." In the ancient Greco-Roman world, an epiphany referred to the appearance of one of the gods to mortals. Since Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors were considered by many to be gods, the word epiphany was also used as a term for divine majesty. The Epiphany of our Lord is the Christian festival that celebrates the many ways through signs, miracles, and preaching that Jesus revealed Himself to the world as Christ, God Incarnate, and King of kings.

The Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord originally commemorated the incidents that manifested the mission and divinity of Christ, the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11). Nowadays, most liturgical churches emphasize the visit of the Magi on January 6th and celebrate Christ's baptism on the first Sunday after the 6th.<

The Magi were members of the religious hierarchy of ancient Persia. They were scholars and practitioners of astrology, divination, and the interpretation of dreams. Their expertise in these arcane subjects is the reason they were often referred to as "wise men."  The Magi of Babylonia undoubtedly came into contact with exiled Jewish priests living among them. Through these acquaintances the Magi learned of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of Christ. This explains why the astral phenomenon described in Matthew 2:1-12 so fascinated the wise men of the gospel narrative.

Many pious legends about the wise men have arisen over the centuries. These include the traditions that there were three Magi who visited Jesus, that their names were Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, and that they were kings.

Epiphany is one of the most important festivals of the liturgical year because it shows the church how God comes to His people.  Knowing that we cannot come to Him, God took the initiative and came to us by becoming one of us. The most holy and almighty God condescended to take on human flesh in order to reveal His salvation to the world. This is the mystery of the Epiphany of our Lord.

During this season, Christians meditate on many of our Lord's epiphanies. Epiphany Day itself commemorates the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem to worship the Messiah and bring Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). Since the earliest days of the church, these wise men have been considered to be representatives of all the peoples of the earth. By means of a miraculous star, God showed them that Jesus was born to be not only the King of the Jews, but the Lord and Savior of all nations.

Holy Day Main Page Next Holy Day

News & Events ~ Closings & Vacations ~ Calendars ~ Our CCD Staff ~ Guidelines, Policies & Registration
Door Monitor Schedule ~ Protecting God's Children ~ Mission Statement & Curriculum ~ Our Church ~ Children's Mass
First Penance ~ First Communion ~ Confirmation ~ Birthdays! ~ Prayers ~ The Beatitudes ~ Sacraments ~ Who Is St. Brigid
The Rosary, Scapular and Medals ~ The Ten Commandments ~ The Apostles ~ List of Popes
Saints of the Liturgical Calendar ~ Holy Days of Obligation ~ Stations of The Cross ~ Contact Us ~ Home