Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

St. Thomas the Apostle and the Three Wise Men

on December 23, 2021

The Gospel of Matthew recounts how the Three Wise Men followed the Star of Bethlehem to the Christ Child in the manger, worshiped Him, and brought Him gifts. Then they left, feeling it wiser to bypass King Herod and his murderous intentions. 

Matthew 2:1-12:

 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:

‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” When they heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

~

Later stories in the apocrypha elaborate on this account. The Three Wise Men meet St. Thomas the Apostle, who baptizes them as Christians, gives them the Eucharist, and sends them out into the world to spread the message of Christ as his disciples.

During the baptismal ceremony, St. Thomas recites this prayer:

“We praise you, O mystery of salvation,

which was given to us in oil by grace for anointing. 

Glory to you, O hidden mystery,

which was given to us in oil by grace for salvation,

for anointing. 

Glory to you, O hidden mystery,

which was given to us in oil for salvation and

and absolution.

 And by it (you) enlighten us and drive away

 darkness and error from us.

And again, by its mystery the athletes of the contest 

defeat their enemies.

Glory to you, O mystery of the oil,

since you became worthy to be in fellowship with

Christ.

With you the victorious are crowned in the contest, 

and you are twinned with the Spirit.

And you fly over the water like your (twin,) 

the Holy Spirit,

you mix the soul with mind,

and you renew the body with the birth of salvation.

Come, O partner of the firstborn;

Come, O renewer of humanity by the birth to eternal 

life;

and rest upon these believers, the beloved ones of our 

Lord Jesus Christ, and purify them and sanctify them

from all the stains of their bodies,

and may they become for you temples for your

dwelling

and rest for the Son of perfect mercy. 

And may you perfectly sanctify them with the birth of

salvation.”

(Translated from the Syriac by Brent Landau)

May we all become wiser, closer to God, and better disciples of the Christ Child in the year ahead.

Amen!

Dawn Pisturino, RN

December 23, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement

13 responses to “St. Thomas the Apostle and the Three Wise Men

  1. utahan15 says:

    divinity as per zoraster
    for herod
    disaster!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Timothy Price says:

    Nice summary. I don’t know if you are into theology and biblical archaeology at all, but the Biblical Archaeology Society had a nice summary of the conditions that caused the star of Bethlehem and the Magi to make their journey:

    “• A once-in-800-years triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pisces
    • The Babylonian god Marduk, the king, and Ea, Babylonian god of wisdom
    • A rare and exceptional Babylonian almanac
    • A political power vacuum in the Near East
    • Jupiter and Saturn in retrograde motion in late December, 7 B.C.E.

    Add it all up and what do you get? A logical, science-driven explanation for the magi’s journey and the star of Bethlehem—something that scholars have sought for centuries.

    Below is a summary of the explanation offered by Simo Parpola, retired Professor of Assyriology at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

    ‘Bussuraµti!’ Good news!

    The magi would have made the above proclamation upon finding the stable when the “star,” or the conjunction of two planets and a constellation, paused in its journey overhead. This “pause” occurred because of an astronomical visual effect in which the Earth, traveling faster than the two other planets, caught up with them briefly.

    The Babylonians viewed unusual astronomical events, linked them to gods and kings, considered them harbingers of political events, and even gave their word kakkabu to name the event.

    To the Babylonians, that word meant a star, planet, or constellation, leading modern researchers, until now, to dismiss events such as the conjunction because it was not a single star, as Christian tradition came to believe it.

    Thus, Professor Parpola’s vast knowledge of Babylonian society and the archaeological discovery of the almanac that tracked the traveling conjunction is what makes all of this possible.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve read the society’s magazine, but I don’t remember reading that. I haven’t read the most current issues, though. Thank you for sharing! Theology and archaeology definitely go hand-in-hand, and some of the archaeological finds highlighted in the BAS magazine are incredible. It does seem that the archaeology tends to support many of the stories in the Bible, even if it does not exactly match the Biblical account. There has to be a reason why Matthew included the story of the Three Wise Men in his Gospel. There has to be some essential truth in the story. Thank you for sharing this fact-based and interesting information.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Timothy Price says:

        You are most welcome. Nice to find another BAS reader. Do you remember with they had three different magazines? How the Internet has changed things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I let my subscription run out because I just didn’t have time to read a bunch of magazines, and I also subscribe to BBC History and others. Thanks for stopping by and sharing that wonderful information!

        Like

  3. Thanks. I need that inspiration today

    Liked by 1 person

  4. balladeer says:

    Very nice! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. wjwingrove97 says:

    great story 🌞🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] St. Thomas the Apostle and the Three Wise Men […]

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: