Valley Forge, PA – The congregation of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox church gathered to celebrate Epiphany with the blessing of the waters. Following church services this afternoon, the members drove a few minutes away to the Schuylkill River. There, along a park entrance slip for boats, Fr. Peter J. Thornberg blessed the waters.

Many Greek Orthodox congregants braved the frigid temperatures around the world today, to dive into the sea and lakes to retrieve a cross in celebration of Epiphany. Epiphany, which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.

Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.