The Afterlife of the Gifts of the Magi


In the Gospel of Matthew, we read of the three kings, “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (2:11). Above you can see the wise men as they appear in Ravenna’s Sant’Apollinare Nuovo (early 6th century), bearing the names Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar approaching the Virgin and Christchild. Am I wrong to want to know, though, what Mary and Joseph ever did with the gifts they received from the Magi? Many are the legends, but evidently they came by a circuitous route detailed here to the Monastery of St. Paul on Mount Athos where they can be seen today (if you’re a male; otherwise you’ll have to settle for my pictures below).




About Uncomely and Broken

I am a classicist in Sewanee, Tennessee.
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