T  W  I  N       C  I  T  I  E  S       C  R  E  A  T  I  O  N       S  C  I  E  N  C  E       A  S  S  O  C  I  A  T  I  O  N


From "The Gospel in the Stars"
by Joseph Seiss

NOW, it is a matter of record that a new and peculiar star did make its appearance in the first Decan of Virgo in the period immediately preceding Christ's birth, and that it was so bright as to be visible even in the daytime. Ignatius says it " sparkled brilliantly above all stars." The same continued in the sky during the whole period of Christ's lifetime, and for a time thereafter. Hipparchus, about one hundred and twenty-five years before Christ, observed it as a new star, and was led by it to draw up his catalogue of the stars. Ptolemy, about one hundred and fifty years after Christ, refers to it as having been observed by Hipparchus, but as having become so faint as hardly to be any longer distinguishable. The Chinese records also make mention of this new bright star at a time corresponding to the period of our Saviour's birth. Since the time of Ptolemy we have no record of any observation of it. This star was in Coma, the sign of the Infant accompanying Virgo, and it marked the very head of that Infant. It was on the meridian at midnight at the spring equinox, just nine months before Christ was born, as again three months thereafter. Its brightness would necessarily arrest the attention of observers of the heavens, and awaken special interest in Coma and the Virgin-born Infant which that constellation signified both in figure and name. Believers in the sacred meaning of these signs, especially in connection with the traditional prophecy of the new star, which seems also to have been in Balaam's mind, could not help but be convinced from these showings that the coming of the Desired One was surely approaching. It was a sort of midnight cry, "Behold, He cometh!" The star itself would thus also be just what these Magi called the star by which they were led-namely, Christ's Star, emphatically "His star " for it was a star of His particular constellation as the Desire of nations, and the peculiar star of His infancy, as it marked the Infant's head, and was at the time by far the brightest in the constellation, as well as in all the heavens around.

For more on the Star of Bethlehem, visit TCCSA Article Archive.