Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gifts of the Wise Men

This is a repost from one year ago today.  I wanted to share it again.

January 6th is known as the Epiphany or Feast of the Three Magi.  It is the 12th day of Christmas, beginning December 25th.  This holiday looks toward the Church's mission to the world to show Jesus as our Savior.

The Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In Italy, The Epiphany is a national holiday and children wait for La Befana.  She is  an old woman who brings gifts to good children, and leaves coal to the bad ones.  The tale goes on to say that the Wise Men knocked on her door and asked her to accompany them on their journey, but she refused.  After seeing a huge powerful light in the sky, she set out with gifts to join them, but got lost.  She goes out bringing gifts each year in the hopes of finding Baby Jesus.

As part of celebrating on January 6th, some people make a King's Cake or a bread filled with all sorts of goodies to represent the gifts brought by the Wise Men.  

You can find a tasty recipe here.

Dear Jesus, as You led the Three Kings to You by the light of a star, 
Please draw us ever closer to You by the light of Faith. 
Help us to desire You as ardently as they did. 
Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You. 
May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You. 
Mary, Our Mother, help us to know Your Son. 

                     -  from Catholic Cuisine

Joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays and Elaine for Sunny Simple Sundays.  



  1. Beautiful post, Barbara. I had never heard the story of La Bafana before! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I usually leave my tree up until this day!

  3. Wonderful post! My husband always awaited "La Befana" when he was a child, Barbara, so I leave many of my Christmas decorations up until the Epiphany passes. After that I'm glad to put them all away.

  4. Well, I learned something new today:)

  5. What a beautiful post Barbara; we used to always celebrate this special day when I grew. Thanks for the memories.

  6. Barbara, you are a lady after my own heart! I love celebrating Christmas through Epiphany!! I keep my decorations up through the weekend following Epiphany. So, Saturday will be my day. :( Maybe not til Monday. GREAT post! :)

  7. Hi Barbara~ I never knew the story of La Bafana, thanks for sharing it! Happy New Year to you!

  8. Amen! Lovely post, Barbara!

    Merry little Christmas!

  9. Beautiful post! My mother would be 98 years old if she were alive today! She always took our tree down after January 6th. I follow this tradition but am glad I stopped by. Thank you for this lovely post. Happy New year to you and yours! Anne

  10. This is a beautiful and interesting post. I never heard about La Befana, so it was nice to learn a bit of Italian culture.

  11. This is a very nice post! Enjoy the day:@)

  12. I have never heard that story before and it is wonderful! Trying to be a really good girl so I can't try your recipe - it made me drool...

  13. Dearest Barbara,
    How wonderful to know about Epiphany on January 6th. And O. Henry wrote a book "The gift of the Magi". Haha, I chcked it. And your pictures helped me a lot!!!
    The story about La Befana is also really intriguing.
    Thank you for sharing this sacred holiday.
    Good night for Good sleep from Japn,
    Lots of Love, Miyako*

  14. Browsing around today and found your beautiful blog. I love this post-the first picture is so beautiful. I'm now a follower, come visit my little corner of oz.

  15. Hi Barbara, What a lovely post and way to start the new year. I have heard the story of La Befana. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    May your New Year be a Blessing to you and yours.

    The French Hutch

  16. What a lovely post for today! I enjoyed reading it.

  17. I really enjoyed this and learned some things I didn't know.

  18. What a most beautiful post sweetie.

    One year our eight grandkiddos acted out the manger scene and the three wise men brought gold (I had a rock I sprayed gold for a play they'd found) frankincense, (they used a basket of potpourri, and fudge (guess they had no clue what myrrh was) but it cracked me up!!!

    God bless ya and have yourself a fabulous 2012 sweetie!!! :o)

  19. Love your first pic/painting of the Three Wisemen. Do you know who painted it? Thanks for sharing!

  20. Thanks for this reminder, Barbara. I had so much commotion and company over Christmas that I was quite anxious to take it all down.
    I also love that Wise Men painting.
    Newest follower from AT, come over for a visit.

  21. What a wonderful and informative post.I enjoyed the link too.

  22. Great post. I love the various ways that Epiphany is celebrated across the globe. It seems that the US is one of the few (Christian) nations that whisks Christmas away on the 26th. I never thought about that until now.

    I love the prayer you posted, too.

  23. I had never heard the story of La Bafana either. Great post, Barbara.

  24. Thanks for sharing enjoy your posts happy new year

  25. Wonderful post! Off to get recipe...
    xo Cathy

  26. I enjoyed this post very much. I had forgotten about Kings' Cake. It sounded deliciously fruity. Happy Epiphany!

  27. Lovely post! I am always amazed when I run into people who don't know what Epiphany is. Posts like yours is wonderful for informing others what is Epiphany. Lately our church has done Epiphany pageants instead of Christmas pageants, except not this year. Next year Epiphany will fall on a Sunday so probably we will have one next year. One year we had a real camel in the church as part of our pageant. That was pretty exciting for the kids who were participating. My hubby and I usually are part of it also.

    Today I take down my Christmas things.


  28. Barbara, This is a beautiful post! We all need this, I know I do. I love the passage from the Catholic Cuisine.
    Thank you for this. Ginger

  29. It's so interesting to read about how different countries celebrate. We were back in work for epiphany, but I have a friend who has 3 model magi decorations and 'walks' them closer to the nativity scene each day. He photographed them on the bookshelf, windowsill, piano... until they eventually arrived on Jan 6th.

  30. Barbara F.,
    Hi! You have the best posts they are always good. Very interesting. I don't know that much about that. Pat

  31. Wonderful post. I'm so happy you brought your post to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  32. What a thoughtful and beautiful post.

    Such lovely sentiments for the holidays for us all!

    Sending you warm wishes for a 2012 filled with creativity, peace and joy!

    I really enjoyed this great link for the letter "G".



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