Holy Innocents

POETRY: Holy Innocents by Christina Rossetti

December 28, 2018

Sleep, little Baby, sleep; The holy Angels love thee, And guard thy bed, and keep A blessed watch above thee. No spirit can come near Nor evil beast to harm thee: Sleep, Sweet, devoid of fear Where nothing need alarm thee. The Love which doth not sleep, The eternal Arms surround thee: The Shepherd of the sheep In perfect love hath found thee. Sleep through the holy night, Christ-kept from snare and sorrow, Until thou wake to light And love and warmth [...]

CHRISTMAS REFLECTION: This Love Is Not Like Our Love by Madeleine L’Engle

December 28, 2018

From The Irrational Season Holy Innocents’ Day is a stumbling block for me.  This is a festival?  This remembering the slaughter of all those babies under two years of age whose only wrong was to have been born at a time when three Wise Men came out of the East to worship a great King; and Herod, in panic lest his Earthly power be taken away from him by this unknown infant potentate, ordered the execution of all the children who might grow up to dethrone him. Jesus grew up to heal and preach at the expense of all those little ones, and I have sometimes wondered if his loving gentleness with small children may not have had something to do with this incredible price.  And it causes me to ask painful questions about the love of God.  [...]

ABORTION: A Dangerous Reflection On The Feast Of The Holy Innocents by Charles Pope

January 12, 2017

From The Archdiocese of Washington  Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, all those young boys in and around Bethlehem, two and under, whom Herod had massacred in order to kill Jesus Christ. We do not know their number or their names, but the church lists them as among her martyrs. Some have disputed that they should be called martyrs since they did not submit freely for the sake of Christ but were “merely victims” of Herod. Nevertheless, the church has long numbered them in her ranks of martyrs. Saint Augustine says of them: And while Herod thus persecutes Christ, he furnished an army (or martyrs) clothed in white robes of the same age as the Lord. O blessed infants! He only will doubt of your crown in this your passion [...]

STATIONS OF THE NATIVITY: Massacre Of The Innocents by Raymond Chapman

January 6, 2017

From Stations of the Nativity: Meditations on the Incarnation of Christ Before the Stations Almighty God, whose blessed Son took our human nature so that we might regain our lost innocence and be restored to the divine image that was disfigured by sin, grant that as we meditate on the mystery of his humanity we may share the glory of his divinity, who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. A hymn may be sung: the familiar Christmas hymns tell of the wonder of the Incarnation and the following is particularly suitable (click on hymn title to be directed to the YouTube video of its performance): Songs of Thankfulness and Praise 13: Massacre of the Innocents V: We adore thee [...]

POETRY: The Holy Innocents by Robert Lowell

December 28, 2016

Listen, the hay-bells tinkle as the cart Wavers on rubber tires along the tar And cindered ice below the burlap mill And ale-wife run. The oxen drool and start In wonder at the fenders of a car, And blunder hugely up St. Peter’s hill. These are the undefiled by woman—their Sorrow is not the sorrow of this world: King Herod shrieking vengeance at the curled Up knees of Jesus choking in the air, A king of speechless clods and infants. Still The world out—Herods Herod; and the year, The nineteen—hundred forty—fifth of grace, Lumbers with losses up the clinkered hill Of our purgation; and the oxen near The worn foundations of their resting—place, The holy manger where their bed is corn And holly torn for Christmas. If they die, As [...]

PRAYER: Prayers Of The Holy Innocents

December 28, 2012

O Holy Innocents, in the name of Jesus, for whom your blood was shed, pray for exploited and abused children. O Holy Innocents who, for the sake of the Christ Child your sacrifice was offered, intercede for the captive and suffering children. O Holy Innocents, whose blood was sanctified by the precious blood of the Savior, preserve the purity and innocence of children and be their help and comfort. Heavenly Father, I ask that you look with great mercy upon the peril of innocent children being violated in the world and deliver them from every evil. I beg your mercy through the sacrifice of the Holy Innocents and through the sacrificial love of your beloved Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. (Author unknown) Novena to the Holy [...]

POETRY: And The Old Man Became As A Little Child by Madeleine L’Engle

September 5, 2012

This poem was written in remembrance of the Holy Innocents — those babies who were killed around the time of Jesus’s birth.  The man in the poem is imagined to be the father of a Holy Innocent, and the nobleman from Capernaum whose son Jesus saved from death. He could not sleep. The tomb was dark, and the stone heavy that sealed it. He could not sleep for all the innocent blood he had seen shed. He was an old man. Too old for tears. Not yet young enough for sleep. He waited and watched. Thrice he had spoken to him whose body had been sealed within the tomb, thrice had the old man spoken, he who was a disciple, but not one of the twelve, older, gentler in all ways, and tired, worn with time and experience and the shedding of [...]