In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear about eastern magi following a new star, sign of the birth of a great king, to Jerusalem. There they meet King Herod, a subtle and evil man, jealous of any rival to his power. Herod questions them closely and is told they had first seen the star two years ago. He sends them on to Bethlehem but asked they return and tell him where the king might be so that he, too, might worship.
Warned by a dream, the magi avoid Herod on their route home, and so Herod sends his soldiers to Bethlehem where they kill every male child age two and younger. We remember these first, albeit unwilling, martyrs of Christianity on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. We remember the magi, who honored Christ without knowing exactly who he was, on the Feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation of Almighty God coming to earth.
By the time the magi arrived