- Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:27
At the king’s command these innocent babes and little Children were put to death. They
died for Christ, and now in the glory of heaven as they follow Him, the
spotless Lamb, they sing for ever: Glory to You, O Lord!
O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not speaking but by dying, grant we pray, that the faith in you which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of living.
Pay close attention to the sentiments of this prayer: confession of the reality of God not by words but by actions, by the way we live. How appropriate to keep this in mind these days.
- Tuesday, 28 December 2010 11:26
There were innocent children slain instead of Christ, by a
wicked ruler. Even the nursing babes were put to death. Spotless, they follow
the Lamb Himself, and say forever:
Glory be to You, O Lord!
- Monday, 28 December 2009 08:58
Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Father, the Holy Innocents offered you praise by the death they suffered for Christ. May our lives bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips.
from the Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy: The Feast of the Holy Innocents
Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod’s rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). Liturgical tradition refers to them as the “Holy Innocents” and regards them as martyrs. Throughout the centuries Christian art, poetry and popular piety have enfolded the memory of the “tender flock of lambs” with sentiments of tenderness and sympathy. These sentiments are also accompanied by a note of indignation against the violence with which they were taken from their mothers’ arms and killed.
In our own times, children suffer innumerable forms of violence which threaten their lives, dignity and right to education. On this day, it is appropriate to recall the vast host of children not yet born who have been killed under the cover of laws permitting abortion, which is an abominable crime. Mindful of these specific problems, popular piety in many places has inspired acts of worship as well as displays of charity which provide assistance to pregnant mothers, encourage adoption and the promotion of the education of children.
As recorded in the gospel of Matthew, after the visit of the Magi, Herod, in rage and jealousy, slaughtered all the baby boys in Bethlehem and surrounding countryside in an attempt to destroy his perceived rival, the infant Messiah. These “innocents” are honored by the Church as martyrs.
In countries where our own innocents are daily being slaughtered by abortion, this feast day is a special time to remember the unborn, to pray for their cause, and perhaps to picket or pray at facilities where unborn babies are killed through abortion. (113)