The Holy Innocents

December 28 – The Holy Innocents –

During this octave of Christmas the Church celebrates the memory of the small children of the neighborhood of Bethlehem put to death by Herod. Sacrificed by a wicked monarch, these innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was persecuted from the time of his birth by a world which would not receive him. It is Christ himself who is at stake in this mass-murder of the children; already the choice, for or against him, is put clearly before men. But the persecutors are powerless, for Christ came to perform a work of salvation that nothing can prevent; when he fell into the hands of his enemies at the time chosen by God it was to redeem the world by his own Blood.

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.