Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MAGI

Members of the priestly caste of the Mazdean religion, with special reference to the wise men who brought gifts to Jesus at his birth. The appearance of an unusual star caused them to leave the East in search of a king of whose birth the star was a sign. Herod asked them to return after finding the Infant. But the Magi, warned in a dream, went back to the East by another way. They are described as bringing symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Their names Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, are first mentioned in the sixth century. The Adoration of the Magi early became one of the most popular subjects of representation in art, the first extant painting being in the Cappela Greca of the Priscilla Catacomb (Rome), dating from the second century.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18
St. Augustine's warning to pastors September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18