The Magi’s gifts – safeguarded for over 2000 years

gifts_magiHere’s something to think about when you’re opening your Christmas presents.  Did you know the gifts of the Magi, the wise men are intact and safeguarded in a monastery in Greece?

The custodian of the priceless gifts is the Monastery of St. Paul, one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula.  Source:’s_Monastery_%28Athos%29

They were given to the Monastery by the widow of a sultan.

In the first century Mary gave them to the Jerusalem Church. They were located there until the year 400. Later, the Byzantine Emperor Arcardius translated them to Constantinople and placed them in the Hagia Sophia church. In 1453, Constantinople fell. In 1470 the daughter of the Serbian ruler George Brankovich, Maria (Maro), who was the widow of the Turkish sultan Murat (Murada) II (1404–1451), gave the Gifts of the Magi to the Monastery of St. Paul, which was Serbian until 1744. Despite the fact that she was the wife of a sultan she did not accept Islam and remained a Christian until the end of her life.  Source: Fr. Andreas Blom

gifts of magi

The gifts are gold pieces with the original frankincense and myrrh beads sown on to them.

The gold is in the form of 28 pieces of carefully engraved coins of different shapes. 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.

Thousands of people form line in Minsk to see relics described as Gift of Magi


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