.- Following the Epiphany Mass in the Vatican basilica, Pope Benedict XVI recited the Marian Angelus prayer with the public in St. Peter's Square. In his traditional message, the Pontiff exalted the unity between intelligence and faith, which was manifested in the actions and openness of the Magi.
The wise men were men of science, but their knowledge was open to "higher revelations and divine calls," the Pope said.
He also highlighted the humility of the Eastern Kings in stopping to ask directions to the prophesied site of the savior's birth. Despite their status and intelligence, said the Pope, they consulted scribes and priests along the way to ensure that they were on the right path.
This path led them to Bethlehem where they would find the Child with his mother.
They could have expressed disappointment at finding the Child there, noted the Pope, but they remained open to a mysterious surprise and recognized in the Child, the Savior, King and Son of God.
We can look to the Eastern Kings as models of true wisdom, concluded the Pontiff, calling them "authentic seekers of God, capable of living the profound harmony that exists between reason and faith, science and revelation."
In his post-Angelus message, the Pope sent a special greeting to the members of the Eastern Churches who will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow. He also remembered the Missionary Day of the Children, originally promoted by Pope Pius XII in 1950 to educate children to be open to the world and sympathetic to their poorest peers. This World Day coincides with the celebration of the Epiphany and is primarily celebrated in Italy.