de Saint Segal (Finistère), photo Couix
Once upon a
time there was a fourth Wise Man (Oriental King) History doesnt
tell us ; but history cannot tell it all. The fourth King came from
even further away than the other three Kings. He came from the furthest
part of Gaul, in other words, from the other side of the world, from
a country called Pellochoaz. Beyond his kingdom lay only the sea
and a few islands where the cries could be heard of flocks of gulls
from the islands where it was believed that the souls of the deceased
stopped over before the angels called them to heaven.
Now, the King of Pellochoaz was warned in a dream that the King
of Kings was to come down to earth and that the whole world was expecting
Him. So he decided to set out at once for a place which a brilliant
new Star suddenly appearing in the sky would lead him to. The King chose
as a gift for the Infant-God, three rare pearls, the most precious of
all the treasures inherited from his ancestors.
One was like pink mother of pearl. It had the sparkle and the daintiness
of hues that one sees in the sea at daybreak, at Carantec and Callot,
in that part of the Bay of Morlaix called Paradise. The pearl was in
the shape of a heart and in it beat all that causes of the joys and
sorrows of the world. It was a live pearl and, by offering it, the King
of Pellochoaz wanted to offer what was closest to his heart ;
his emotions and his worries, his deepest happiness and his most secret
The second pearl was green in colour. Like the grasslands of Trogriffon
on a frosty morning or the vale of Bigodou, in the October sunshine.
In this pearl could be found a reflection of the countryside with its
flowers, animal life and all the gentleness of things. By bringing this
pearl to the Son of God, the King wanted to make a presentation of all
his earthly possessions, not only his own wealth but also the whole
of creation ; everything he could survey from his keep overlooking the
waters and admire at leisure. The King thought to himself that if the
swirling of the sea was so powerful and the sunsets so magnificent between
Kerrec-Hir and the Ile de la Vierge, how much more sumptuous still were
the shoals of of fish with their stripes of gold and silver swimming
amongst the silken algae swaying like banners in the wind among shining
forgotten treasures. The pearl with the greenish tinges sang of the
splendours of the visible and invisible world, and the King wanted to
give it because with this pearl he was giving back to the Creator love
The third pearl was white. Or rather, it was transparent. It was not
light, but it diffused light. On looking at it, one was enlightened.
One could see the right path to follow, the counsel one could suggest,
the solution one had been looking for for such a long time. By means
of this pearl, life became straightforward, things fell into place as
well as relationships between creatures, with their original transparency.
In giving this pearl to the Newborn Child, the King wished to hand over
to him all his wisdom ; his intelligence and his spirit.
So it was that the King, holding tightly onto his casket containing
these three unique pearls set out on foot. As you can imagine, the journey
was very, very long and more than once the procession had to stop on
the way because of unforeseeable events. When he arrived at last in
the country where the Star stood still, the King noted a strange noise
coming from the surrounding towns and villages. It was like a great
lament that nothing could console. The Kings heart was torn with
grief and he was wondering what it could be when one of his heralds
came to tell him that a barbaric order from Herod had spread death and
destruction in the homes of the Jews, by slaughtering all male children
under the age of two. Hardly had the herald finished his horrifying
story than a woman with a tortured expression on her face burst into
the inn where the King had stopped over. She was clasping to her breast
a child with terror visible in his eyes and she said she was being pursued
by Herods murderous men.
Indeed, in the doorway there were some of Herods mercenaries,
men with bestial faces brandishing blood-smeared swords. They were pursuing
the young mother and had been ordered to kill the little Jewish boy.
The King of Pellochoaz looked them in the eyes. The brutes did
not want to retract : they had to kill the child. Then the King called
for his casket and took out the pink pearl. It was of such rare beauty
that the mercenaries decided immediately that they would not find anywhere
in the world an opportunity of such great price and that they would
never recieve such a great reward even if they carried out Herods
orders to the last detail. They grabbed the pearl and fled, leaving
their swords on the doorstep of the inn.
The King of Pellochoaz went on his way, hoping to find the Infant-God.
How was he to set about it and why had the star stopped shining above
his head ? He didnt understand. Anyway, once, on entering a village,
he passed an unusual group of people ; a squad of soldiers were taking
away a young men who was struggling and shouting. Behind them followed
a group of people with an older woman, no doubt the mother of the prisoner.
The man they were taking away was indeed her only son, and she was a
widow. He had indeed committed a theft, for they were poor and had nothing
to live on. On learning this, the King of Pellochoaz was moved,
and although he did not approve of theft, he did not approve either
of the brutality of the guards taking the man away and he asked them
to free the thief. As the soldiers refused, the King offered them a
significant ransom price for the prisoner. The soldiers still refused.
Then the King opened up his casket and took out the pearl with the greenish
tinges. The guards, utterly won over, immediately calculated the value
of the fortune represented by this jewel and agreed to hand the young
man back to his mother.
Now the King only had the white pearl left to offer the Son of God.
For a long time he continued to look for the child for whom he had left
his castle by the sea, his country covered in flowering heather, at
the other end of the world. In fact he continued his search for thirty
years in the country where the Star had led him.
One day as he was approaching the City of Peace ; he saw a young girl
running towards him and she flung herself into his arms. She was running
away from men who were stoning her because they accused her of having
betrayed her father while her parents, very pious people, had promised
her in marriage to a rich old man of their family line. The young girl
did not want to die and so she begged the King of Pellochoaz to
save her life. The King tried in vain to persuade those in her pursuit
not to stone the young girl before making sure that their information
was correct and not just false accusations brought against her by jealous
men ; it was of no avail. The accusers were all the more fierce as they
had the law on their side and some of them were lawyers. So the King
of Pellochoaz decided to hand over the last pearl
When he showed it to the outraged men they drew back, dumbstruck. Their
eyes burned with desire before the luminous pearl that the King held
in his fingers. " Come on ! ", he said to them, holding out
the treasure, while the young girl, panting, fainted in his arms.
At that very moment the King heard a noise coming from a little lane
down in the town. It was the sound of cries, clamouring, and whistling
accompanying a condemned man being dragged up outside the walls of the
city to be crucified. The revolting cortège was approaching.
The King of Pellochoaz saw the man being led to his death. And
the Man turned his face towards him, and he looked at him. And the King
knew that it was Him. It was the Child he had been looking for such
a long time !
That was what men had done to him !
The King of Pellochoaz opened his hands : he had nothing left,
nothing to offer in exchange for the life of the Son of Man. He had
given everything on the way. Then, on the indescribable face of Jesus,
the King saw his three pearls. They were shining, intact, richer and
more luminous than in the box in the cassette ; and it was as if they
were vibrant, all three of them, with what he had wanted to bring to
the Child. He heard a voice saying to him : " Go in peace, as for
your gift, I truly did receive it ! "
The King of Pellochoaz realised that everything he had done for
the people along the way, he had in fact done for God.