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'Star of Bethlehem' may have been conjunction of Jupiter, Regulus

Catholic World News - December 23, 2010

The star of Bethlehem mentioned in St. Matthew’s Gospel may have been a conjunction of the planet Jupiter and Regulus, a star in the constellation of Leo, according to Mark Thompson, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Astronomy.

Three times in 3 BC and 2 BC, the planet and the star appeared close to each other in the sky. “The Three Wise Men were believed by some to be Zoroastrianist priests, who were renowned astrologers at the time, so the king of planets passing so close to the king of stars on three occasions would have been hugely significant and could have been interpreted as the birth of a new king,” says Thompson.

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Dec. 24, 2010 11:48 AM ET USA

    Just because a phenomenon is natural does not make it any less providential. Think of it as a miracle God planned from the dawning of time, even for all eternity, that all nations should call Lord the Word Made Flesh.

  • Posted by: raynearhood3144 - Dec. 23, 2010 10:25 PM ET USA

    There is an interesting documentary movie available on the web regarding this subject. Its name is "The Star of Bethlehem." Presenter Rick Larson makes much the same argument. He walks you through biblical, historical, and astronomical evidience. The movie is available at www.bethlehemstarmovie.com I saw this movie on EWTN last year, I found the site/movie online and bought it. I recommend it.

  • Posted by: Basil - Dec. 23, 2010 10:02 PM ET USA

    Hogwash, for the reasons given by St. John Chrysostom about 16 centuries ago (see in full Homily 6 on Matthew [PG 57:64])where St. John likened it more to the pillar of fire leading the Hebrews in the wilderness. I think one of the best points he makes is how can a star point out a particular tiny spot where Jesus was born? He asks, how is it that the moon - which is much larger than a star - one cannot say is over this building or that, so how much less a star being over a particular stable.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Dec. 23, 2010 6:38 PM ET USA

    Once again the purveyors of what the late Deitrich Von Hildebrand would call "science fetishists" are at it again trying to come up with a reason, any reason, to deny that perhaps the star was of supernatural origin.

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