December 28, 2019

The Distributed Gifts of the Three Magi in Mount Athos

As is well known, when the Three Magi visited the Christ Child and His Mother, they presented three very precious gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. In Mount Athos today, it is believed that these precious gifts are still preserved, and are kept in the Monastery of Saint Paul, having been given to them by Empress Maro in the 15th century. The gold consists of 28 pieces of carefully engraved coins of various shapes with different designs and complex artistry, while the frankincense and myrrh are mixtures in the form of spherical beads the size of a small olive.

Because of the spiritual (first and foremost), material, historical and archaeological worth and value of these precious gifts, which is truly incalculable, they are preserved with extreme care in the treasury of the Monastery of Saint Paul. Furthermore, for security reasons, they are not all kept together, but are distributed in various reliquaries. Only a small portion is ever brought out for veneration, and this small portion is even brought outside of the Holy Mountain and taken all over the world for the faithful to venerate.

Below are photos of some of the various reliquaries in which the precious gifts of the Three Magi are distributed: