Sayings of the Saints
  • On the Feast of the Epiphany
" All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing praises
to the Lord."
                -ISAIAH 9: 6

IT WILL readily be admitted that the lights and graces which the Magi received were
immense and extraordinary, since they were enlightened outwardly as well as
But, truly, could less have been done to convince the Gentiles, or to draw them to the
knowledge of a God-man whom they had not as yet seen command the waves of the
sea, or raise the dead, or restore sight to the blind--a God who only visibly showed
Himself as an ordinary child, silent, poor, and weak?

Nevertheless, if the Magi had had the same indifference which the majority of
Christians have for heavenly things, they would have perhaps looked upon the star
only as a curiosity, and they would have met, perchance, to seek for natural causes
to account for its appearance. They would not have hastened to set out on so long a
journey and in delaying to obey the secret order which impelled them onwards, they
would have lost the greatest of blessings.

Sermon 35 De Tempore.

ST. CHRYSOSTOM assures us that God caused the star to appear in order to convince
the Jews of their infidelity, and to show them that their ingratitude was inexcusable.
For as Jesus Christ came upon earth to call the whole world to the knowledge of His
name, and to be acknowledged and adored by all nations, He opens the gate of faith
to the Gentiles, and He instructs His chosen people through the medium of foreigners.
God seeing the indifference with which the Jews listened to all the prophecies which
promised the birth of the Savior, He summoned the wise men from the East to seek
for the King of the Jews in the midst of the Jews, and He willed that Persia should
teach the former what they did not care to learn from the oracles of£ their prophets;
in order that, if they had amongst them any men of good-will, this visit of the kings
might lead them to believe, and if they wished still to be obstinate no excuse would
be of any avail. For what could they think or say when they witnessed these Magi,
guided only by a star, seeking and adoring Him whom they had rejected?

On the Second Chapter of St. Matthew.