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Epiphany in Brugherio in search of the Magi’s relics

9 Gennaio 2012

The Magi, the three Wise Men who got to Bethlem following the Comet, are considered the most fascinating and mysterious figures of the gospel narration. although the canonical gospels say little about them, their popularity is widespread and has become part of the Catholic liturgy according to which they are worshipped on the 6th January. A nice way to celebrate this festivity would be to go to St. Bartholomew church in Brugherio, where some precious relics are kept.

Here is the history of the relics. Martyred in Persia and then moved to Constantinople, the Magi’s bodies have layed in St.Eustorgio basilica in Milan since the beginning of the fourth century. But when Federico Barbarossa sacked Milan in 1163 he took possession of the relics and gave them to the archbishop of Cologne. It was only in 1903 that some little bones were given back to the bishop of Milan.

What has Brugherio got to do with it? Well, before the sack of 1163, St.Ambrose gave the holy phalanxes to his pious sister and since then they have been kept in the convent she had founded nearby Brugherio. In 1613 Carlo Borromeo decided to move the relics to the parish church devotee of St.Bartholomew and there the relics are still kept in a precious silver reliquary with the representation of the three Wise Men and showed for worshipping during the Epiphany day.

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