Is this where the gift of the Magi ended up?

On a peninsula of Greece on   Mount Athos stands some twenty  monasteries.  One located on the western side is dedicated to  St. Paul of Xeropotamou.    It was on this mount that the Saint withdrew from public life to live ascetically.  It is also here that the Eastern Orthodox believe that the gift of the Magi found their resting place.

Not its greatest treasure, that being one of the largest remaining pieces of the true cross, these treasures were said to have made a great journey before resting on Athos.  According to legend, the Holy Mother Mary delivered these treasures, the swaddling clothes of the Christ child and her own robe and belt to the Church of Jerusalem where they stayed until the emperor Arkadios brought them to Constantinople in 400 AD for ‘sanctification of the faithful and protection and promotion of the Queen City.   In 1204, the Latins sacked the great city and the relics were moved to Nicaea in Bithynias for safe keeping for around 60 years.  After being returned to Constantinople, they remained there until the enslavement of the city by the Turks in 1453 AD.

This is where it gets interesting.  The CHRISTIAN wife , Maro, of the sultan Mourat II (1421-1451) brought them to the Holy Monastery of St. Paul where they have remained to this day.

The gold, frankincense and myrrh were in the form of 28 pieces of engraved coins in various shapes and with different designs.  The complex artistry of the coins were made into 5 X 7 centimeter circles.   The Frankincense and Myrrh are in the form of around 62 rough spherical beads.



Whether they are actually the gift of the Magi to the child Jesus is up for debate.  But one cannot deny the spiritual, physical, historical and archaeological value of these artifacts to the Monastery.  They are preserved with great care and presented for veneration in the monastery as well as brought to various cities for their blessing.

We can, at the very least, learn from the gifts the Magi brought as a glimpse into who these men were and why they came.    CLICK HERE TO READ MY BIBLE STUDY ON THE GIFTS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANT MEANING.


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