Thursday, January 3, 2008

Epiphany Memories

Here is my favorite Magi picture. It's by Janet McKenzie, the artist whose "Jesus of the People" won the NCR's millennium contest for a new image of Jesus. Sr. Wendy Beckett of PBS fame was the judge. Scroll down to her painting, "Epiphany."

Hermana Marietta, with whom I lived for a dozen years or so, had a particular devotion to the Epiphany. Every year she'd ask all the sisters if she could have their Christmas cards with the Three Wise Men on them. She'd use them faithfully in her Latin and Spanish classes around January 6th.

In our community room we have a basket on one of the side tables into which is stuffed all the Christmas cards received by the community. I sit and go through them a couple times during the season and am always attracted to the ones with the Magi, wondering if Hermana would like this one or that.

A secret, heretofore never revealed: I pick a card out every year...my favorite...and take it! I mean really, we receive 100s so who's going to miss just one. Some years there's a tie between two or three and I really have to carefully choose the one that will be on the mirror in my room for a few months. But not so this year...2007's outshone all the rest as soon as I saw it.

It's a beautiful Madonna and child painted by the artist Emmanuel Pieper from the Benedictines in Kentucky. No Magi on it, but instead, the one for whom they made the trip.