Look at the origins of this tradition inevitably leads us to one of the Gospels of the Bible, of San Mateo. In chapter two, verses one through twelve, is narrated as Magi, guided by a bright star, arrived in Bethlehem to worship and offer their mystical gifts to the newborn Messiah, mocking Herod to the infanticidal most feared and famous history. But the same San Marcos does not provide details about its origin, even says that they were Kings, so many authors consider that the Evangelist, who wrote for the Jews, used them as a resource to enhance the divine nature and the character of Jesus as Messiah.
There are interpretations that say that the Magi could have been Babylonian astrologers or Persian, growers priests of science – particularly the astronomy-from a theological point of view.
The three names that have come down to us in the Western tradition – Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar – are not original or primitive names of the Magi, which are unknown in full (Matthew also mentions them).
The representation of one of the Magi as a black man, did not begin until the 14th century.
The venerable Benedictine monk, Beda, doctor of the Church, described them as well in a Codex: “Melchor, elder white hair and long beard of the same colour; Gaspar, young and blond; Balthasar, black”. Beda considered them representatives from Europe, Asia and africa, to thus emphasize the universal sovereignty of Christ over all races and countries.
The names are different in different languages. In Greek, Appellicon, Amerin and Damascon; in Hebrew, Magalath, Galgalath and Serakin. The Armenians are that they were 12, so it assigned twelve different names.
Their destination, after the adoration, was uncertain. San Mateo only says that they returned to their country by another way to outwit Herod. Pious tradition says they were disciples of Saint Thomas. Others claim that they were consecrated bishops died martyred towards the 70 year of our era. Alleged relics were transported from Milan to Cologne in the 12th century, where still today are enshrined in a Byzantine reliquary in the Cathedral of that German city.
One of the enigmas of the Magi most studied is the nature of the bright star that led them to the Manger of Jesus. For many authors was not but a comet or Meteor light. There is one who maintains that Halley could be Comet. Kepler, in 1606, said that it could be born of the triple conjunction of two planet, Saturn and Jupiter, in the constellation of Pisces.
Finally, a curious Codex of the 15th century, entitled history of the three Kings is located in the library of the University of Salamanca. Full of quotations from the old testament, he relates the trajectory of these during and after worship. The episode of the temptations were the three kings in charge of Satan stands out.
Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas
By father Jordi Rivero, 11/98
St. Nicholas, Bishop, died on 6 December, the 345 or 352.
Your charity lejendaria is the origin of the character, known universally as “Santa Claus” or “Santa Claus”.
Five popes have taken the name of Nicholas, but the Saint of our history it wasn’t Pope Bishop.
Little is known with certainty of St. Nicholas more than the following data: born in stop of Lycia, a former province of Asia minor; in his youth, he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine. Shortly after his return was appointed Bishop of Mira, capital of Lycia, next to the Mediterranean Sea; cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian by confessing his faith, he was released when climbing the Emperor Constantine to the throne.
Possibly San Nicolas participated in the Council of Nicaea in the year 325, where condemned the Arian heresy which questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ and was instituted the Nicenciano creed, which is a source for later creed who prays at Sunday masses. On the other hand, his name does not appear in the ancient lists of the bishops participating in the Council.
Metodio says that “thanks to the teachings of Nicolas, the metropolis’s look was the only that is not contaminated with the Arian heresy which refused firmly, as if it were a deadly poison”. San Nicolas also took severe measures against paganism and fought him relentlessly.
His zeal for Justice is lejendario. When Governor Eustacio had been bribed to convict three innocents, Nicolas arose at the time of the execution, the executioner arrested and set free the prisoners. He then rebuked Eustathius, until he acknowledged his crime and repented. On that occasion had been present three officers that later, upon seeing themselves in mortal danger prayed to St. Nicholas. That night the Saint appeared in a dream to Constantine and ordered that put released the three innocent. Constantine interrogated the three and to realizing for them that had been summoned to San Nicolas, sent free to the Holy Bishop with a letter in which begged him to pray for the peace of the world. For a long time the miracle that was more famous San Nicolas, and virtually all that was known of it at the time of Metodio who died in 847.
Devotion to St. Nicholas
After his death on 6 December, 345 or 352, grew his devotion and increased reports of his miracles. He became the patron of children and sailors. In the 6th century, Emperor Justiniano built a church in Constantinople in his honor. His popularity in this city (present day Istanbul) spread for all Christianity. He was named patron of Russia and, thanks to the tsars, his devotion increased to have more churches dedicated to his name in Russia than any other Holy out of the Virgin Mary. It is interesting that St Nicholas is popular in Russia centuries before that was known in the Americas.
In Germany the devotion to St. Nicholas began under Otto II, possibly by his wife Theophano, who was Greek. The Bishop Reginald de Eichstaedt (991) wrote “Vita S. Nicholai.”
His bones may 9, 1087 were rescued from Mira that had fallen under the Muslim invasion. They were Bari, on the Adriatic coast of Italy. It was possibly at this time that spread their devotion in Italy where it is known as St. Nicolás de Bari. His relics are still preserved in the Church of San Nicola of Bari, Italy. Look, said that “the venerable body of the Bishop, embalmed in the oil of virtue, sweated a soft myrrh that preserved him from corruption and cured the sick, for the glory of him who had glorified Jesus Christ, our true God”. The phenomenon is not interrupted with the translation of the remains; reportedly, an oil known as Manna di S. Nicola, continues gushing his body.
San Nicolas is honoured as a patron in the following places: Russia; Naples and Sicily, Italy; Campen, Holland; Freiburg in Switzerland; Lorraine; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Liège; also in cities in Germany, Austria and Belgium. In different places is patron of sailors, merchants, bakers, children and travelers. The sailors of the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, following the custom of the East, have a “star of St. Nicholas” and you want to Bon voyage with these words: “That St. Nicholas takes your rudder”. His image is represented in art in different ways according to his miracles.
In Demre (Turkey), the Basilica of Saint Nicholas is now in ruins, and there is doubt about which is his original grave. They are not Christians in the city, but Muslim businessmen have founded a charitable organization in his honor giving a peace prize each year.
St. Nicholas to “Santa Claus”.
In the case of a very popular Saint not missed the wonderful stories that were accumulated over the centuries.