Mary is bewildered by Gabriel's proclamation that she will be the mother of the son of God but begins to believe him when she learns that her middle-aged and long barren cousin Elizabeth has also had a divine visit to say she will give birth to John the Baptist. She is,however,scared and unsure as to how to tell Joseph. Gaspar persuades the other Magi that they must follow the star to its zenith over the birth-place of a new king. Elderly Melchior is convinced that there is a religious connection. King Herod feels under-mined on learning that the Roman emperor Augustus has ordered a census as he too has heard that a messiah may dethrone him. Joseph must register in Bethlehem,where he was born,but he is more concerned with the fact that Mary is pregnant and he knows he is not the child's father.
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