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Gifts of the Magi delivered to Minsk for worship

MINSK, January 17, 21:38 /ITAR-TASS/. A great relic of Eastern Orthodox Christianity - the Gifts of the Wise Men to the newborn Jesus, which have left Greece’s Mount Athos for the first time since the 15th century, were delivered to the Belarusian capital city Minsk on Friday.

The relic was welcomed at the Minsk airport by Bishop of Borisov Veniamin, the vicar of the Minsk Eparchy and other representatives of the Belarusian Exarchate, who chanted a prayer of thanksgiving.

The relic will be displayed at Minsk’s Charity House, where it will be accessible for believers will January 23.

The local authorities will provide busses where the believers standing in the queue will be able to warm up. Ambulance cars will be on duty. Volunteers from the Belarusian Red Cross will serve hot tea to pilgrims.

After Minsk, the Gifts of the Magi will be displayed the world-famous Monastery of the Caves in Kiev in Kiev.

The Gifts the Wise Men of the East, one of the few relics connected with the earthly life of Jesus Christ that have been preserved to the present day - gold, frankincense and myrrh are kept at the sacristry of the Agiou Pavlou (St. Paul’s) monastery on Mount Athos in Greece. The gold is in square and triangular plates bearing the finest ornament and measuring 5 by 7 centimeters. The frankincense and myrrh are in dark olive-like balls numbering 70. The box brought from Greece has part of the original Gifts: three gold plates with a thin filigree ornament with beads from a mix of frankincense and myrrh attached to it on a silver thread. The legend has it that shortly before her death, Virgin Mary gave these gifts to two righteous women. Later on, these relics were brought to Byzantium, and after the Turkish conquest in 1453, they were taken to Mount Athos by a Serb nun Mary.

Athos monks believe that the Gifts of The Three Kings have healing power, thus testifying to the Christ's coming to this world.