(AP) — Christians around the world have marked Epiphany with a series of celebrations.
Epiphany is also known as the Three Kings Day for Catholics and the Baptism of Christ for the Orthodox Pope Francis used a Mass to decry consumerism, parades were held in Spain, and Orthodox believers watched swimmers plunge into icy waters despite the pandemic to retrieve crosses.
Francis on Thursday warned against surrendering to the “tyranny of needs” especially in consumeristic societies. Bartholomew I is the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians and he recently recovered from COVID-19. He led a Blessing of the Waters ceremony in Istanbul during which swimmers competed to retrieve a cross he threw into the Golden Horn waterway.