The Commemoration of the Holy Innocents


Today as the Church we remember the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem at the command of King Herod. These were the first victims of the persecution of Christians–“the world was not worthy of them” (Hebrews 11:38). The reading for today is Matthew 2:13-18.

The Vatican Radio‘s meditation for today on the Commemoration of the Holy Innocents includes an interview with Monsignor Richard Albert, a missionary for 26 years to the ghettos of Jamaica. He says, “As a Catholic priest, I’m there because I believe that’s where Christ would be: with the poor, with the marginalized, with those that are weak and struggling … As a faltering disciple, that’s where I want to try to be.” Let us pray:

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

– From Phyllis Tickle’s Divine Hours

Go in peace.

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