"It's a thirst of the heart of every creature that
desires to be loved, and the love which can alone
satisfy that craving is the Divine Love.
Let your heart delight in the love your God has
for you, personally, individually. No soul ever
in ardent fervor desires to unite herself
to our Lord in Holy Communion,
as our Lord desires to unite Himself to her.
So Holy Communion is a delight to your Infant
Savior; because He loves you, oh, how immeasurably!
He tells you in His heart to heart interview that
He has become a little Infant so that you may
love Him with a human love without fear."
- St Katherine Drexel
Feast of the Holy Innocents
FEAST DAY - December 28
As recorded in the gospel of Matthew after the visit of the Magi, Herod,
in fear, rage and jealousy, “ordered the massacre of all the boys in
Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under” in an attempt to destroy
his perceived rival, the infant Messiah. The horror of the massacre and
the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,/sobbing and loud lamentation;/Rachel weeping
for her children...” (Matthew 2:18).
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). These innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was
persecuted from the time of His birth by a world which would not receive
Him. Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents"
and regards them as martyrs.
"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief." — St. Augustine