Feast of the Holy
Feast of the Holy
Innocents: December 28
After the feast of the martyr and the
virgin apostle we celebrate the feast of the infant martyrs. Also called
Childermas, or Innocents' Day festival celebrated in the Christian churches in
the West on December 28 and in the Eastern churches on December 29.
In the event, King Herod the Great ordered
the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to
avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn "King of the Jews", whose birth had
been related to him by magi. He was called Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, but
was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his
Only because Joseph had been warned by a
dream that this would happen and accordingly fled with his wife and Jesus to
Egypt was the Savior spared (Matt. 2:13-15). The other innocent children were
put to the sword. This is one of the seven sorrows of Mary: to realize the
hatred others would have of her Son and Lord; to understand that saving her own
baby led to the death of others.
Our Christmas joy is tempered today by a
feeling of sadness. But the Church looks principally to the glory of the
children, of these innocent victims, whom she shows us in heaven following the
Lamb wherever He goes.
for the Feast of the Holy Innocents
O God, whose praise the
martyred innocents did this day proclaim, not by speaking, but by dying:
Destroy in us all the malice of sinfulness, that our lives may also
proclaim thy faith, which our tongues profess. Through our Lord.
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