‘How laboriously you came, taking sights and calculating, where the shepherds had run barefoot! How odd you looked on the road, attended by what outlandish liveries, laden with such preposterous gifts!
‘You came at length to the final stage of your pilgrimage and the great star stood still above you. What did you do? You stopped to call on King Herod. Deadly exchange of compliments in which began that unended war of mobs and magistrates against the innocent!
‘Yet you came, and were not turned away. You too found room before the manger. Your gifts were not needed, but they were accepted and put carefully by, for they were brought with love. In that new order of charity that had just come to life, there was room for you, too. You were not lower in the eyes of the holy family than the ox or the ass.
‘You are my especial patrons, and patrons of all latecomers, of all who have a tedious journey to make to the truth, of all who are confused with knowledge and speculation, of all who through politeness make themselves partners in guilt, of all who stand in danger by reason of their talents.
…‘For his sake who did not reject your curious gifts, pray always for all the learned, the oblique, the delicate. Let them not be forgotten at the throne of God when the simple come into their kingdom’.
Saint Helena reflecting on the Magi in the novel ‘Helena’, 1950, by Evelyn Waugh, 1903-1966
O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy Only Begotten Son to the Gentiles:
mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may be led onward through this earthly life,
until we see the vision of thy heavenly glory; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Divine Worship: The Missal
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian