The Church of St. Francis of Assisi invites you to celebrate THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY
also known as “Three Kings Day”

Saturday, January 6 –  4pm (vigil)
Sunday, January 7: 8am • 11am • 12:30pm • 5pm

What is the Epiphany?

The Feast of the Epiphany is the 12th Day of Christmas and at one time the closing day of the Christmas season.  In the modern liturgy the Christmas Season closes now with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which this year is Monday, January 8, 2024.

The Epiphany continues to celebrate the Incarnation of the Son of God who was born in time over 2000 years ago.  The arrival of the wise men and the gifts they bear make manifest the true identity of the child Jesus:  He is the newborn King (gold), He is God (frankincense) and like all human beings, he will also eventually die (myrrh).  The word “epiphany” in ancient Greek means “manifestation.”  At this feast the Word of God manifests to us who hear that Word, that God is with us in Christ.  He truly is “Emmanuel.”  The arrival of the magi, who are Gentiles, also points forward to the manifestation of God’s salvation beyond the confines of Israel, to include all the people of the world.

The star guided the magi toward the Messiah just as the prophets guided the people of Israel.  Isaiah long before his birth had foreseen his coming.  His words continue to fill our hearts with joy as we proclaim them on the Epiphany each year in the first reading of Mass that day:

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD (Is 60:1-6)

Happy Epiphany!