According to early Christian tradition, the Magi were scholars, three in number, who came from different directions in search of the new-born King, each bringing Him a gift. Saint Bede (673 – 735 AD) assigned them the names of Gaspar, from Persia, who brought gold; Melchior, from Arabia, who brought frankincense; and Balthasar, from Ethiopia, who brought myrrh. The Bible tells us that they were guided by a star to Bethlehem, the place of Our Lord’s birth. There they adored Him and, after offering Him their gifts, returned home.
Saint John Chrysostom asserts that after the resurrection of Christ, Saint Thomas the Apostle came to these Magi and baptised them, and associated them with himself in preaching the Gospel.
It is believed that for their work of spreading the Gospel, they were martyred. Saint Helena found their relics during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in the beginning of the 4th century, and brought them to Constantinople, where Saint John Chrysostom was bishop. Then the relics were taken to Italy, and eventually to Germany. Today, they rest under the Shrine of the Three Kings in the cathedral of Cologne, Germany.