The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Developing wisdom through commitment to service, as encouraged in Henry Van Dyke’s 1895 novel, “The Other Wiseman”


“Should he risk the great reward of his divine faith for the sake of a single deed of human love?” – Henry Van Dyke

The understanding of Lord Jesus Christ as a paragon of Catholicism indirectly inspires acts of service and charity within the community of the Church. There are ample, alternative accounts throughout the Catholic Bible, amongst other literacies, which may inspire within us, as Disciples of Jesus, the Word of the Lord.

The willingness of Disciples to follow Jesus Christ is not to just be considered in terms of spirituality and faith. Within the Gospel of Matthew, from the New Testament of the Bible, the religious and physical journey, made by the caravan of Magi, was recounted.

It was as stated in Matthew 2:1-2, that upon the birth of the Lord, “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

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This biblical recollection of the Magi in Matthew excluded the details of a supposed, fourth, priestly wise man, named to be Artaban, in Henry Van Dyke’s 1895 novel, “The Other Wiseman”.

Artaban had been experiencing biblical proclamations, like those of the other traditionally known Magi, which were reflective of the birth of a Heavenly King. However, as opposed to traveling the treacherous, desert lands with the caravan, Artaban had opted to do so on his lonesome.

Artaban had intended on meeting with the Magi. However, he was unable to do so due to unforeseen circumstances. He began his individual journey from Persia to Bethlehem, and highly motivated to present to the Son of God, the gifts of a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl. As Artaban made his way across the desert, he had lost most of his treasures to those in need of his service. He could barely regret such, for human lives had been salvaged.

When Artaban had arrived in Bethlehem, it was far too late for him to see the child, the son of God. Dissatisfied, but unwilling to give into defeat, Artaban proceeded on his pilgrimage, contributing acts of charity and service along the way of his endeavors.

It had been 33 years later that Artaban’s religious exploration concluded. Artaban had arrived in Jerusalem, hearing of a man named Jesus, Son of the Lord, being condemned to a death by crucifixion. Artaban had arrived upon the Hill of Calvary with an unknown, developed closeness to the Lord that he had been in search of for all of those years.

The pearl, one of great worth, was the final offering that Artaban had been able to present to the Lord upon their meeting. Alternatively, Artaban had offered to trade the valuable in exchange for the freedom of a young, enslaved woman.

Artaban had met his death before he believed he had the chance to meet Christ or to present a gift of great worth. Having believed to have lived a life of defeat, Artaban was unaware that his acts of service and humility on Earth had granted him eternal life in Heaven above. Artaban, unknowingly, had been successful in serving the Lord all along. It was within the souls of those that Artaban had saved, that the grace of God was able to reflect.

As God had provided to humanity the gift of his only begotten son, Jesus was willing to offer his own life for the sake of salvation. The service that we are called to provide to others may be reflected through the careful and compassionate work of Artaban. We too should be like Artaban, as disciples of God. We must be willing to make sacrifices in the consideration of providing service to those in need.

We are to not just preach the Gospel, but to live it out in our daily lives by serving our fellow brothers and sisters.

As stated by the narrator of the “The Other Wiseman,” “He [Artaban] knew that all was well, because he had done the best that he could, from day to day. He had been true to the light that had been given to him. He had looked for more.”

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Rue Daniels
Rue Daniels, Features Editor
Hey there! Rue Daniels is currently a sophomore here at Gannon University and she is studying psychology which is one of her passions alongside writing.  She has been writing for her schools’ papers since middle school and has found herself growing fonder of producing written works. This is Rue’s second year on The Gannon Knight staff, and she will be holding the position of Features Editor for this academic year. She is also a part of a work-study in the ITS Help Desk here at Gannon. Rue is rather eager to provide the community of Knights with reliable, and refreshing writing. 

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