Balthazar, or St. Balthazar, was the King of Arabia before he became one of the most important people in Christian history — he was one of the Three Wise Men.
And what a perfect rendition by artist Girolamo da Santacroce. The look of devotion on St. Balthazar’s face, as he presents his gift to Jesus, gives me the chills. He is everything a religious icon should be: strong and proud and humble.
The painting was created in 1655, and you can visit it at the Toledo Museum of Art.
As part of the Magi, St. Balthazar followed the Star of Bethlehem first to the palace of Herod the Great, who instructed them to return to him when they had found the Christ child. When they arrived at the manger, the Magi worshipped Jesus and presented their gifts. St. Balthazar gave the gift of myrrh, which symbolized the future death of a king, as myrrh was an expensive item at the time. Following his return to his own country, avoiding King Herod, it is purported that St. Balthazar celebrated Christmas with the other members of the Magi in Armenia in 54 AD, but later died on January 6, 55 AD. January 6 is also the feast day of St. Balthazar because is the date of his death.
St. Balthazar lived to be 112 years old. That’s what living a Godly life will do for you.