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17 Jan 2014

Gifts of the Wise Men arrive in Belarus

Gifts of the Wise Men arrive in Belarus

MINSK, 17 January (BelTA) – The holy Christian relic, the Gifts of the Magi, arrived in Belarus on 17 January, BelTA has learnt.

The relic has been brought by a monastic delegation headed by Abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul Archimandrite Parthenios (Murelatos). At the Minsk National Airport the relic was welcomed by Bishop Veniamin of Borisov, Vicar of the Minsk Eparchy, and other members of the clergy of the Belarusian Exarchate.

The relic will be then delivered to the Church of Job the Long-Suffering at the Minsk Charity House (Vostrok metro station). A solemn ceremony is scheduled for 18h30 and will be led by Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus.

After that, the relic will be on display for general public until 22h00. On 18-23 January the Gifts will be available for worship from 8h00 to 22h00, and on 24 January the relic will be taken to Kyiv. The Exarchate noted that changes in the program are possible.

The relic is kept in 10 special reliquaries. The gold is in the form of 28 pieces of carefully engraved coins, with various shapes (rectangular, trapezoidal, polygonal, etc.) and measuring about 5x7 centimeters. Each coin has a different design of different and complex artistry. The frankincense and myrrh take the form of mixtures in the form of 62 roughly spherical beads the size of a small olive. For security reasons only a part of them are brought outside of the Holy Mountain as a blessing to various Metropolises.

The Gifts of the Magi are mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew. According to it, a group of distinguished foreigners visited Jesus Christ after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death. Thus gold was given to Jesus as to a king; myrrh as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.


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