Tradition says that the Three Kings were called: Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar. They are Three Kings from the Orient that every year on the day called Day of the Kings, bring gifts to older people and especially children. Although some people suggest that there may have been more than three (Armenians, for example, suggest that they were in fact twelve).
Pope St. Leo established that there were Three Kings who went to worship baby Jesus guided by a star: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar, and that the gifts they carried were gold, frankincense and myrrh, meaning: King and God and Man.
These Three Kings are “magicians” as their name implies. According to the biblical scriptures, they presented gold, incense and myrrh to baby Jesus in the manger of Bethlehem where he was born. The Three Kings came from far away countries, but they were guided by a sign in the sky, a “magical star,” that years later scientists claimed could have been a comet.
Since then, each year, the Three Wise Men bring gifts of peace and goodwill to children throughout the world. Their gifts are gold, frankincense and myrrh and each have a meaning:
Melchor (Magalath), is an old man with white hair and long beard of the same colour, comes from Europe; Melchor delivers myrrh. Myrrh is an aromatic, reddish substance that is common in the Middle East and Somalia. It was highly prized in antiquity for the manufacture of perfumes. Myrrh is the symbol of man.
Gaspar (Galgalath), the youngest and the fair haired of the three wise men comes from Asia. Gaspar delivers the incense. Incense is a preparation of aromatic vegetable resins, to which oils are added so that on burning it gives off fragrant smoke and a characteristic odor. Incense is the symbol of God. In many religions incense is used in religious rites.
Baltasar (Serakin), is of a black race, from Africa, Baltasar delivers gold, the most precious of metals. Gold is the symbol of the King. The description of the Three Wise Men was created in the fourteenth century by a Benedictine monk, Bede, who described them in a codex, as we have explained above.
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