This post is later than I intended, as matters (both weighty and enjoyable) intervened, and I was not so efficient with my day as I meant to be. I have an Italian's priority: when I ventured out into the mad,frozen, treacherous world (we had snow, followed by rain, followed by a wee bit more snow, and then a hard freeze) to brave the crowds of ski-crazy visitors to our fair city, I remembered basil and tomatoes, apple cider and chestnuts. I forgot the sand bags, which can be got for free, and which I should have grabbed in anticipation of yet more rain, on top of yet more snow, in a place already half-flooded from the first taste of such a mix.
But ah well. It is the last day of the Long Christmas, and it seems good to finish off with another quote from The Christmas Chronicle, this time concerning the Magi:
The ancient "Calendar of Saints" from Cologne offers, for the year 54 AD, the following interesting account of the Magi who visited the Infant Jesus at Bethlehem: "After thy had undergone many trials and fatigues for the Gospels, the three Wise Men met at Sewa in the year of Our Lord 54, where they celebrated the feast of Christmas in common; whereupon, after the celebration of the Mass, they died."
Tradition ascribes their deaths to martyrdom. That excellent website, "Hymns and Carols of Christmas" has a good deal of information concerning the Magi in the notes for "We Three Kings." You should definitely scroll down and read it.
Lastly, this antiphon from the Christmas Mass, in the Byzantine Rite:
(Hat tip to Molly for the words!)