A very special baby had been born in Bethlehem. His parents had named him Jesus. Magi from a faraway land had learned of his birth and had set out to find him. Since they were convinced this child would one day be the king of the Jews, they stopped at the palace of King Herod. They thought it was his son that had been born. The king allowed the Magi to come before him with their questions.
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star rising and have come to do him homage.”
Herod had not had any children recently, so he became angry that a boy had been born that might be the next king. He told the Magi he would look into the matter and he would call them back in. Herod then summoned his scribes and priests, asking them where this baby might be.
One of the scribes said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: ‘From you, Bethlehem, shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”
Now that Herod knew where the baby was, he called back the Magi, so he could speak with them in private. He asked them when they had first seen the star that had led them to Bethlehem. Then he told them, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” The Magi bowed and left King Herod’s palace to look for the newborn baby.
As soon as the sun had gone down, the bright star the Magi had been following appeared in front of them once again. They followed the star to Bethlehem and found Jesus sleeping in his mother’s arms.
Just as they had bowed to Herod in reverence for his position as king, the Magi bowed before Jesus, the child who they knew would become a very important man, the king of the Jews. They had brought expensive gifts for Jesus — gold, frankincense and myrrh — and they gave these to his mother. Then they left to visit Herod and to return to their country. However, that night an angel appeared to them in their dreams and warned them not to tell Herod what they had seen, but to return home by a different route.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Why did the Magi stop to see Herod?
2. What were the three gifts the Magi gave to Jesus?
Peter Canisius was born in Holland in 1521 and grew up in a religious home. He liked to learn so much that he earned a college degree when he was only 19.
His father wanted him to be a lawyer, so Peter tried to please him by studying law. He did this only for a short time, because he really liked theology and decided to study that instead.
After becoming a priest, he edited and published the teachings of St. Cyril and St. Leo the Great. He was selected as a member of the Council of Trent, served under St. Ignatius in Rome and taught at the first Jesuit college.
He was then called to work at the university in Ingolstadt, Germany. While he was there he made changes so the college was more religious. Many people liked him because he tried to stop the sale of books that were against the teaching of the church.
In 1555, Peter published Summary of Christian Doctrine. He devoted the rest of his life to writing and establishing schools, and he is considered one of the creators of the Catholic press.
He died in 1597, and we honor him on Dec. 21.