The gifts from the Wise Men


Hi everyone,

Peace and all Good to you!

I was meditating on the Nativity and Infancy Narratives and when I came to the visit of the Wise Men and the Gifts they offered to Jesus in Matthew 2:11: “And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” I began to wonder what happened to these gifts-did the Holy Family distribute the gold & the other gifts to others in need around them, did they save them or use them to support themselves?

Is there any speculation or teaching in the Church about this or is it just one of those things we don’t know? I know it’s not a Faith altering detail but I’m just interested on people’s thoughts & if there’s an official view on it.

God Bless


Great question! I looked it up on Wiki and this is what I found:

What subsequently happened to these gifts is never mentioned in the scripture, but several traditions have developed. One story has the gold being stolen by the two thieves who were later crucified alongside Jesus. Another tale has it being entrusted to and then misappropriated by Judas. One tradition suggests that Joseph and Mary used the gold to finance their travels when they fled Bethlehem after the magi had warned them about King Herod’s plan to kill Jesus. And another story proposes the theory that the myrrh given to them at Jesus’ birth was used to anoint Jesus’ body after his crucifixion.


or this:


gold, frankincense, and myrrh

Gold a traditional gift suitable for royalty; Jesus came from the royal line of David
Frankincense, incense offered to God; Jesus is God
Myrrh for preparing body for burial; perhaps prophetic indication of the passion and death of Jesus


Peace and all Good to you!!

Many thanks for your answers, they were very helpful and informative. I was not aware of the traditions regarding the thieves or the gifts eventually being taken to a Serbian monastery, though I had come across the reasons behind the specific gifts offered.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard or read that Scripture passage throughout my life but I never thought of asking what happened to the gifts after the departure of the Wise Men.

Thanks again for your help!

God Bless


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