The Pilgrim Kings: A Story of the Magi
by Gemma Corrari Fiumara
Linked to Biblical sources, the story of the legendary Magi comes to us in a surprising conjunction of fantasy and historical events. The likes of Herod the Great and Herod Antipas, John the Baptiser, and Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate, Herodias and Salome, spring to life again to confront creatures of the imagination such as Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, Leah, Purim, Deborah, Eliachim and many others.
With the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem, innumerable connections emerge among characters and events – progressively generating the plot of the novel.
There were rumours and prophecies circulating at that time in Jerusalem regarding a forthcoming king of the Jews, and King Herod – the fake Jew – is frantic with fears. At that same time a comet is sighted in the night sky. It is a visible light: the counterpart of the invisible angelic lights guiding each one of the Magi in search of the new-born king of the Jews.
After the encounter, the Magi are transformed into ordinary faithful men and proceed to return to the East, while the rabid king fooled by the Magi orders a mass murder of little children. The story progresses all the way to the spreading news of resurrection, and further on to include Empress Helena, the relics of the Magi and their seizure by Frederick Barbarossa.
In 1904, a part of the relics are returned from Cologne to Milan. In a brief prologue, the author narrates how she casually learned that the relics of the Magi are to be found in the city of Milan, in the ancient basilica of Saint Eustorgius.