The Christmas Octave has an unique way to keep the memory of Christ and His Way alive with the saints honored in these days: today, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents. As it is revealed in Scripture, King Herod felt threatened by the birth of the Infant King. He ordered the death of every male child of Bethlehem to preserve his own reign (cf. Matthew 2:16). Mother Church honors the multitude of child-martyrs because of the Presence of Jesus. Our theology teaches us that the infant voices eternally sing triumphant praises to the King of Kings, Lord of Lords: the Light of the World.
Here is a poem, “The Holy Innocents” by Laurence Housman
When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
Fair peace on earth to bring,
In lowly state of love He came
To be the children’s King.
And round Him, then, a holy band
Of children blest was born,
Fair guardians of His throne to stand
Attendant night and morn.
And unto them this grace was giv’n
A Saviour’s name to own,
And die for Him Who out of Heav’n
Had found on earth a throne.
O blessèd babes of Bethlehem,
Who died to save our King,
Ye share the martyrs’ diadem,
And in their anthem sing!
Your lips, on earth that never spake,
Now sound th’eternal word;
And in the courts of love ye make
Your children’s voices heard.
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Child,
Make Thou our childhood Thine;
That we with Thee the meek and mild
May share the love divine.