When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Judah, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to adore Him…” and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the Child with Mary His mother, and falling down they adored Him; and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
-The Gospel of Saint Matthew, 2:1-2, 9-12
The Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the threefold manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ in His earthly life, His baptism, the wedding feast of Canna, and the visit of the Magi. Of these three, Western Catholicism has held the first revelation to the Gentiles in the primary place of recollection, and with good cause. Ancient tradition holds that there were three principle Magi, men fere reges (like unto kings), St. Melchior of Persia, St. Caspar of India, and St. Balthazar of Ethiopia (or Arabia), embodying the three great gentium of Mankind, and forming in themselves a microcosm of the Sacrétemporal understanding of the world.