Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Alaska Epiphany

Jim Trodel

Hannah Bryan - Humane Pursuits - published on 01/16/14

Over this past semester, I have found myself becoming more and more curious about history and the doings of the “mighty dead,” men of whom the world was not worthy.  The coursework for the program I was attending, the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia, explored the history of nations and ideas and the West’s religious history.  I did not realize it, but historically the Church has employed a calendar in order to order the life of the believer around the life of Christ.  The calendar in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer includes Scripture passages relating to major events in Christ’s life and in the early church on any given day, and often pointing forwards to His second coming.

For example, 6 January was “Epiphany,” Greek for “manifestation,” which was when the three Magi from the East finally arrived to meet and adore the Christ child; the day also symbolizes the Light of nations reaching those far outside the people of Israel.  For a Gentile like me with no right to the covenants, promises, or adopted status of God’s chosen people, this is a wonderful day!  “Very light of very Light” has reached the bitterly cold interior of this heart and is warming its rebellious wilds with a lively warmth.

Secretary of State William Seward was heartily berated for purchasing such an “Ice Box” from Russia.  He served under both President Lincoln and President Jackson, and survived an attempt on his own life the same night John Wilkes Boothe shot President Lincoln.  However, Seward did not live to see his decision to purchase Alaska for $.02 per acre justified eight years after his death when valuable minerals, gold, and oil were discovered.

Alaska is a latecomer to the Union.  Geographically separated from the mainland, dark, distant, with a hostile climate, Alaska was not a logical purchase.  However, it is now unquestioningly part of this nation, with all the responsibilities and rights of any other state (excepting perhaps hunting rights).  I rejoice at my first Epiphanytide, knowing God has chosen to allow me into union with Him and His people.

Courtesy of Humane Pursuits.

  • 1
  • 2

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.