Friday, 9 January 2015

The Epiphany or Theophany of the Lord, manifested to the Gentile kings and wise men


The Feast of the Three Kings or Magi
or
Dreikoenigsfest
as it was called in the Holy Roman Empire and in German-speaking lands
and
the Theophany
or Manifestation of the Lord to the Gentiles


on the same day as later occurred


the Baptism of the Lord


and


the miracle of wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee


Whom Kings adore...
 
"When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, 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 king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: and thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said: go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him. Who having heard the king, went their way; 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. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country."
[Matt 2:12 - Gospel for the Mass of the Epiphany]


The shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral

The Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral contains their relics brought from Milan by ship to the City of Cologne on the order of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, in 1164 as a gift to the Prince-Elector Archbishop, Rainald of Dassel.
 
This gave rise to the English Carol "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing in".
 
The relics had first been taken from Constantinople to Milan in 344 by Bishop Eustorgius of Milan.
Around 1199, the Roman Emperor Otto IV gave three golden crowns made for the three wise men as a present to the church of Cologne, the city where, the previous year, he had been elected King of the Romans and Emperor-elect by the Prince-Electors of the Empire (he later gained the support of all the imperial princes at Frankfurt in 1208).

An inscription reads:

Otto rex coloniensis curiam celebrans tres coronas de auro capitibus trium magorum imposuit.
Otto the King, the court of Cologne celebrating, gave three golden crowns for the heads of the three Magi.
 
Emperor Otto IV was the only member of the Welf dynasty to be elected Holy Roman Emperor and, being the son of Matilda Plantagenet (married to Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria), he was allied to England in the Franco-English wars. He was also the personal preference of Pope Innocent III, who crowned him Roman Emperor at Rome in 1209, although they later fell out over the issue of the imperial rights in Italy.

Because of the importance of the shrine and the cathedral for the later development of the city, the Coat of Arms of Cologne still shows these three crowns symbolizing the Three Kings.

Construction of the present Cologne Cathedral was begun in 1248 to house these important relics. The cathedral took 632 years to complete and is now the largest Gothic church in northern Europe.

On July 20th, 1864, the shrine was opened, and the remains of the three Kings and the coins of Philipp von Heinsberg, Archbishop of Cologne, were discovered.

An eyewitness report reads:

“In a special compartment of the shrine now there showed - along with remains of ancient old rotten or moulded bandages, most likely byssus, besides pieces of aromatic resins and similar substances - numerous bones of three persons, which under the guidance of several present experts could be assembled into nearly complete bodies: the one in his early youth, the second in his early manhood, the third was rather aged. Two coins, bracteates made of silver and only one side striken, were adjoined; one, provably from the days of Philipp von Heinsberg, displayed a church, the other showed a cross, accompanied by the sword of jurisdiction, and the crozier on either side.”
The bones were wrapped in white silk and returned to the shrine where they remain to this day to be venerated by all the Faithful.

By long tradition, on the Feast of the Epiphany – called Dreikoenigsfest (the Feast of the Three Kings) in the lands of the old Holy Roman Empire – the Rector of the Parish (or in his absence, the father of each family) visits each house with a cross-bearer, 2 acolytes and 3 children dressed as the kings, one bearing a censer with lighted incense. At each house a little ceremony takes place, the house is blessed with Epiphany water, and over the door lintel of the house the following is inscribed with blessed chalk:
 
20 + C + M + B + 15


In my house we always perform this traditional ceremony.

This symbolises the present year and the blessing of the three Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, upon each home.

The symbols remain all year or until the weather has washed them away.
 
Blessed Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, wise men and kings from the East, pray for us!

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The Journey of the Magi

by T S Eliot


A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


+ + +

"three trees on the low sky... I should be glad of another death."
...

6 comments:

The Irish Jacobite said...

I was wondering, why do you dislike
Charles Carroll so much? He was a Catholic Jacobite who hated the Hannovers. That is the reason he supported the revolutionaries. In my opinion the Hanovers most certainly deserved to be overthrown, but definitely not by a bunch anti-catholic masonic revolutionaries. Also can you please write articles on the Great Catholic Monarch and Scandinavian history, starting with pagan times to today. And also, why do you not talk about King Charles III's descendents who live in Italy and Poland?

Vivat Christus Rex!

Tribunus said...

Dear Irish Jacobite,

Thank you for your post.

If you mean Charles Carroll of Carrolton, in the USA, I don't think I've said I dislike him.

I try not to dislike people but only their silly ideas.

Carroll certainly had plenty and was neither a Catholic, worthy of the name, nor a Jacobite.

One is not entitled to be described as a Jacobite merely because one "hated the Hanovers" (one "n" in English).

Indeed, what Irish republicans fail to grasp is that hate is not a good basis for any creed, political or otherwise.

As a matter of fact, Flora MacDonald of Kingsburgh herself repudiated the American Revolution, supported the British forces in the revolutionary war and her husband, Allan, fought as an officer in the 2nd Battalion, 84th (Royal Highland Emigrants) Foot. they returned to Skye after the Revolution ravaged their estates in America.

She, being the wonderfully wise woman that she was, saw that however bad the Hanoverians may have been, the treacherous American Whigs and revolutionaries were worse.

Another great Briton and warm Catholic sympathiser, William Cobbett, also realised the same.

Carroll, on the other hand, had long since jettisoned the orthodox Catholic faith and endorsed what we would now call Modernism ("Liberal Catholicism" or "Kennedy Catholicism" i.e. nominal Catholicism but repudiating central doctrines of the Faith).

So, now, Jacobitism was not (nor ever could be) his reason for supporting the illegal, immoral, disloyal, treacherous and anti-Catholic American Revolution.

The truth is that Carroll had become a warm ally of the anti-Catholic Masonic revolutionaries and shared most of their ideology.

The Hanovers, however, were now beginning to become more tolerant toward Catholicism.

King George III, the best of the Hanoverians, permitted the first Catholic chapel to be built since the Reformation (at Weld Castle, Lulworth, Dorset, by the Weld family - it still stands).

He also gave Bonnie Prince Charlie's brother, Henry, the Cardinal Duke of York, a pension when he lost most of his money supporting a crusade against the Turk.

The Prince of Hanover, albeit a Protestant, was, moreover, a Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, let us not forget and signed himself as such in negotiations with the treacherous Yankee revolutionaries.

As a matter of fact, the Pope himself supported the right of King George III to the throne of Britain and Ireland.

So, it is wholly wrong to state that he and his government "certainly deserved to be overthrown".

Indeed, such a sentiment is contrary to Catholic principles and morals.

Carroll, one the other hand, was a traitor to both his religion and his King and no friend of Catholic Ireland.

He represents the beginnings of that odious trend that has so poisoned Irish politics since the 18th century - the politics of hate.

I am not sure who you mean by King Charles III's descendants in Italy and Poland but I have certainly written about his legitimate descendants now personified by HRH Francis, Duke of Bavaria.

I'd be happy to write about the Great Catholic Monarch and Scandinavian history if you could be a little more specific about what you mean.

Many thanks.

The Irish Jacobite said...

I was referring to his daughter, Charlotte, who may be a bastard, but she's his only issue.By the Great Catholic Monarch, I mean Church approved prophecy about the great Aragorn esq warrior King, (Who many say is Prince Ferdinand von Habsburg, the son the De Jure Holy Roman Emperor, Karl II and IX.)The book Catholic Prophecy, by Edward Connor is a solid book, from Tan books. By Scandinavian history, I mean the histories of Denmark Norway and Sweden.

VIVAT CHRISTUS REX

Coriolanus Leonidas said...

Sorry this isn't directly related to the current post but I have read your blog before and I must say that I agree entirely with you about a certain topic which seems not to be quite popularly mentioned today that much even among traditional Catholics: the Holy Roman Empire. I was wondering if you knew of any particular resources whereby one could learn more about the traditional teaching of the Church concerning the Holy Roman Empire?

Tribunus said...

Dear Irish Jacobite,
Yes, Charlotte, Duchess of Albany, is well worth a post or two, as also the history of Catholic Scandinavia.
I think we are pretty much in the dark as regards any future Great Catholic Monarch, though, if the prophecies are true, I look forward to the day and trust that the said monarch will be a member of the Habsburg family who have always been so loyal and true to the Catholic faith and religion.
VIVAT CHRISTUS REX, indeed!

Tribunus said...

Dear Coriolanus,
Books on the Empire are scarce, particularly in English and those that exist are usually biased against the empire, in one way or another.
A good book to start with would be "The Holy Roman Empire" by Viscount Bryce. Given what happened to the Prussian Empire, which he ludicrously extols as the true successor of the Catholic Austrian empire, but which ended in disaster and Nazism, I am sure you will not fall for his mistakes on that score. the rest of the book, however, is well worthy of reading.
Try that for starters.