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The feast commemorating Christ's manifestation to the Gentiles in the person of the Magi, as well as his baptism and first miracle at Cana. It began in the East in the third century and soon spread to the West, where it is identifies with the visit of the Magi. In some countries it is known as Twelfth Night (after Christmas) and is the occasion for special celebrations. For centuries the Epiphany has been a holy day of obligation in many places. (Etym. Greek epiphaneia, appearance, manifestation.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.