Pictorial Half Hours with the Saints – The Epiphany

detail of 'Epiphany', by Fernando Gallego, c.1480, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OhioGood Example

The word Epiphany means “manifestation” and it has passed into general acceptance throughout the universal Church, from the fact that Jesus Christ manifested to the eyes of men His Divine mission on this day. First of all, a miraculous star revealed His birth to the kings of the East, who came forthwith to adore him at Bethlehem, and to offer Him mystical presents, as to the King of Kings, to the God of Heaven and earth, and to a Man withal, feeble and mortal. He was in fact all this. Subsequently, when going out from the waters of Jordan, after having received baptism from the hands of the Precursor, the Holy Spirit hovered visibly above Him, under the form of a dove, and a voice descending from the clouds uttered these words: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” Finally, at the outset of His evangelical mission. He wrought the miracle of the conversion of water into wine, at the nuptial feast of Cana, at the sight whereof His disciples believed in Him. The remembrance of these three great events, concurring to the same end, Holy Church has wished to celebrate in one and the same festival.

Moral Reflection

“So let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

– from Pictorial Half Hours with the Saints, by Father Auguste Fran├žois Lecanu, 1865