Epiphany: a four fold feast

Bhakti Issa Urra
2 min readJan 5


At the visitation of the Magi, the Christ child’s divinity is revealed to all the other nations on Earth. Three kings or wise men journey to deliver their gifts to the holy child. Each bringing a symbolic treasure.

Detail from the Magi Chapel, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

For Christ himself:

  • Gold represents Christ’s kingship
  • Frankincense, a sweet-smelling resin used in worship — his priesthood
  • Myrrh, an ointment used in burial — foreshadows his death

For humanity, the gifts meant:

  • Frankincense — time for God
  • Myrrh — time for Self
  • Gold — time for Family
Angels in Adoration, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Epiphany originally celebrated four different events, in the following order of importance:

Each was a revelation of the Son of God to humankind.

The Adoration of the Magi by Giotto

At the Nativity, the angels bear witness to Christ. The shepherds — representing the people of Israel -bow down before the holy child.

With the visitation of the Magi — the three kings or wise men — Christ’s divinity is revealed.

The Magi were both real and symbolic. As real men, the three kings confirmed ancient prophecies about Jesus being the Messiah. As symbols, they showed that he came to save all people — rich and poor, learned or unschooled, any where in the world.

Possessing the knowledge to follow a star to lead them to the birth of the Messiah — they may have been royal astronomers, known advisers to kings.

Adoration of the Magi by Lorenzo Monaco, c. 1420–22

After the paying homage to the Christ child, the Magi did not go back the way they came. This too was symbolic — of seekers finding their beloved Christ — changed forever, they cannot return to their previous lives.

Whatever your culture, belief or tradition — may the light of revelation shine a clear path and bless you with the miracle of mindful manifestation.

Happy Three Kings’ Day to us all!

Originally published at http://changewarrior.blogspot.com.



Bhakti Issa Urra

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed