Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on SCANDAL, QUOTES on the FAMILY, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.”

Matthew 2:18

“Thus, parents, I say, are more vicious,
more cruel than child-murderers;
for, a murderer of children, as Herod was,
separates only the body from the soul;
while the others, give the souls and bodies of their children
to eternal flames!
Further, those who are killed
would have died in the course of time,
though they had not been murdered;
while children, neglected by their parents,
might have avoided eternal death,
had not the wickedness of their parents
prepared it for them.
Besides this, the general resurrection
would have compensated for the bodily death,
while the death and destruction of the soul,
nothing can restore.
A child, condemned by the parent’s fault,
has no hope of salvation
but has to suffer eternal pains.
Hence I am right in saying,
that such parents are worse than child-murderers.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/28/quote-s-of-the-day-28-december-the-feast-of-the-holy-innocents/

Posted in "Follow Me", CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – “The servant is not greater than his lord”

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

When Herod realised that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. – Matthew 2:16

REFLECTION – “The Apostle John said: “Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk even as Christ walked” (1 Jn 2:6). Moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts and teaches us, saying: “We are God’s children but if children, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together” (Rm 8:16f.) … Let us, beloved brethren, imitate righteous Abel, who initiated martyrdom, he being the first to be slain for righteousness’s sake (Gn 4:8) …; let us imitate the three children Ananias, Azarias and Misael, who … overcame the king by the power of faith (Dn 3) … What of the prophets whom the Holy Spirit quickened to a foreknowledge of future events? What of the Apostles whom the Lord chose? Since these righteous men were slain for righteousness’ sake, have they not taught us also to die?

The nativity of Christ at once witnessed the martyrdom of infants, so that they who were two years old and under were slain for His name’s sake. An age, not yet fitted for the battle, appeared fit for the crown. That it might be manifest that they who are slain for Christ’s sake are innocent, innocent infancy was put to death for His name’s sake … How grave is the case of a Christian, if he, a servant, is unwilling to suffer when his Master first suffered! … The Son of God suffered that He might make us sons of God and the son of man will not suffer that he may continue to be a son of God! … The Maker and Lord of the world also warns us, saying: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own but because you are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world … remember the word that I said to you: “The servant is not greater than his lord” (Jn 15:18-20).” – St Cyprian of Carthage (c.200-258) Martyr, Bishop of Carthage, Father of the Church – Letter 55

PRAYER – We praise You, O God, we acclaim You as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise You. (from the Te Deum).

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, INCORRUPTIBLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Feasts of the Holy Innocents and Memorials of the Saints – 28 December

The Fourth Day of the Octave of Christmas
Holy Innocents (Feast)
About:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-martyrs-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

St Anthony of Lérins
St Caesarius of Armenia
Saint Caterina Volpicelli (1839-1894)
Her Life:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/28/saint-of-the-day-28-december-saint-caterina-volpicelli-1839-1894/

BL Claudia Weinhardt
St Conindrus
St Domitian the Deacon
St Domnio of Rome
St Eutychius
St Gowan of Wales
Bl Gregory of Cahors
Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn
St Iolande of Rome
Bl Johannes Riedgasser
Blessed Matthia de Nazzarei OSC (1253-1319) Virgin, Nun
Bl Nicolas Mello
Bl Otto of Heidelberg
St Romulus
St Simon the Myroblite
St Theonas of Alexandria
St Theodore of Tabenna
St Troadius of Pontus

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno. 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child

Thought for the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave

Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference.   Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne.   He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality.   He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story:  Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen.   They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born.   Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.”   They found Jesus, offered him their gifts, and warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.”   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). Rachel was the wife of Jacob (Israel).   She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

The Holy Innocents are few in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day.   But even if there had been only one, we recognise the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The 15th Century English Carol commemorates the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child.
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay thou little tiny child
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day,
This poor Youngling for whom we sing
Bye, bye lully, lullay

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day,
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child, for thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye lully, lullay.

Holy Innocents, Pray for Us!holy-innocents-pray-for-us-no-2-28-dec-2017,2018,2019.jpg

 

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave

“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 (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthese-then-28-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)the star of bethlehem shines forth - st teresa benedicta - holy innocents 28 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – They are alive! 

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.” … Matthew 2:18matthew 2 18 - a voice was heard in rama - feast of the holy innocents 28 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Where does this jealousy lead?…   The crime committed today shows us. Fear of a rival to his earthly kingdom fills Herod with anxiety, he plots to suppress “the newborn King” (Mt 2:2), the eternal Kin, he fights against his Creator and puts innocent children to death…   As for those children, what fault had they committed?   Their tongues were dumb, their eyes had seen nothing, their ears heard nothing, their hands done nothing.   They accepted death who had not known life. ( … )   Christ reads the future and knows the secrets of the heart, He weighs our thoughts and probes our intentions (cf. Ps 138[139]), why did He forsake them? ( … )   Why did the newborn heavenly King abandon these companions in innocence, forget the sentinels watching around His crib to such an extent, that the foe who wanted to get at the King, ravaged His whole army?

My brethren, Christ did not forsake His soldiers but covered them with honour by allowing them to conquer, before they had lived and to carry away the prize, without a fight. ( … )   He wanted them to possess heaven rather than earth. ( … )   He sent them before Him as His heralds.   He did not abandon them but saved those who went on ahead.   He did not forget them. ( … )

Blessed are they who have exchanged their travail for repose, their pains for ease, their suffering for joy.   They are alive!   Yes, they are alive, they live indeed, who have undergone death for Christ’s sake. ( … )   Happy the tears their mothers shed for these infants, they have won them the grace of baptism. ( … )   May He who deigned to rest in a stable be pleased to lead us also, to the heavenly pastures.” … St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Churchthey accepted death who had not known life - st peter chrysologus - holy innocents - 28 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum).we-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – A Prayer for Life by St John Paul

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave.

When you think about the slaughter of these innocent children and the continuing slaughter of the unborn through the horrors of abortion, it becomes clear that they come from the same supreme act of selfishness.   Even though Herod heard the message coming from the prophets of his own people, he had no desire to align his heart with the purposes of God.

 

A Prayer for Life
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers of babies
not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
Amen

Taken from Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life.”a-prayer-for-life-st-pope-john-paul-28-dec-2017 and 2019

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of the Holy Innocents and Memorials of the Saints – 28 December

Holy Innocents (Feast)
About:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-martyrs-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

St Anthony of Lérins
St Caesarius of Armenia
Saint Caterina Volpicelli (1839-1894)

BL Claudia Weinhardt
St Conindrus
St Domitian the Deacon
St Domnio of Rome
St Eutychius
St Gowan of Wales
Bl Gregory of Cahors
Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn
St Iolande of Rome
Bl Johannes Riedgasser
Bl Nicolas Mello
Bl Otto of Heidelberg
St Romulus
St Simon the Myroblite
St Theonas of Alexandria
St Theodore of Tabenna
St Troadius of Pontus

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno. 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

A tiny child is born, who is a great king.   Wise men are led to him from afar.   They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth.   When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed.   To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king?   He does not come to drive you out but to conquer the devil.   But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children.   You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart.   You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life Himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace—so small, yet so great—who is lying in the manger.   He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out His own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil.   He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it.   The parents mourn for the death of martyrs.   The child makes of those, as yet unable to speak, fit witnesses to Himself.   See the kind of kingdom that is His, coming as He did in order to be this kind of King.   See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious.   While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying Him homage and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here!   To what merits of their own, do the children owe this kind of victory?   They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ.   They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

St Quodvultdeus (died 450) Bishop, Father of the Church, Spiritual child of St Augustinehow great a gift of grace is here - st quodvultdeus -holy innocents 28dec 2018

“And while he thus persecutes Christ,
he furnished an army of martyrs,
clothed in white robes,
of the same age as the Lord.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

and while he thus persecutes christ - st augustine 28dec2018

Holy Innocents, Pray for us!holy-innocents-pray-for-us-no-2-28-dec-2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

“We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.”

From the Te Deumwe-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017

“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.”these-then whom herod's cruelty - st augustine-28-dec-2017

”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.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-precious-death-st-augustine-28-dec-2017

“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)the star of bethlehem shines forth in the dark night - st teresa benedicta 28dec2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – Feast of the Holy Innocents: Martyrs – 28 December – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Saints of the Day – Feast of the Holy Innocents: Martyrs – 28 December – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

902px-Nicolas_Poussin_-_Le_massacre_des_Innocents_-_Google_Art_Project
Nicolas Poussin – The Massacre of the Innocents

During this octave of Christmas the Church celebrates the memory of the small children of the neighbourhood 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.holy-innocents-rachel-weeping

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.

poussin - the holy inncoents
Nicholas Poussin – The Holy Innocents

One of the most cherished carols of the Christmas season is often presented as a melody without lyrics.   For this reason, the tune is familiar but the words of the carol are not. The carol of which I am referring to is known as the Coventry Carol, which originates in a 16th century “mystery play” called the Pageant of the Shearman and Tailors.   The play and the song concern the massacre of the young children of Bethlehem at the command of King Herod, a story that is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.   The Coventry Carol is a lament that is imagined in the play to have been sung by the mothers whose children have been murdered by Herod’s cruelty, it combines the sound of their weeping with the gentle cadences of a lullaby:

Lullay thou little tiny child,
By, by lully lullay.

O sisters, too how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor youngling for whom we sing,
By by lully lullay.

Herod the king, in his raging
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might in his own sight
All young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child for thee
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting, no say nor sing
By by lully lullay

The Holy Innocents saved the Child Jesus from death by King Herod, by the shedding of their own blood.   The Holy Innocents are the special patrons of small children, who can please the Christ Child by being obedient and helpful to parents and by sharing their toys and loving their siblings and playmates.

The feast of the Holy Innocents is an excellent time for parents to inaugurate the custom of blessing their children.   From the Ritual comes the form which we use on solemn occasions, such as First Communion.   But parents can simply sign a cross on the child’s forehead with the right thumb dipped in holy water and say:  “May God bless you and may He be the Guardian of your heart and mind—the Father, + Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”

For more information, patronages etc here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_-_Slaughter_of_the_Innocents_detail_-_WGA06764
Duccio di Buoninsegna – Slaughter of the Innocents

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

Thought for the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt and remain there till I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”   And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt…  Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region, who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men….Matthew 2:13-18

We call martyrs those saints who chose to give their lives for Jesus Christ.   These innocent children also gave their lives but they didn’t choose to  . They were chosen for martyrdom.   For centuries innocent lives have been taken and people can’t help asking ‘why?’   The suffering of innocent children is still a scandal for our human hearts.   That happened during WWII in a concentration camp.   The Nazi guards decided one day to hang a child in front of thousands of prisoners in formation.   Elie Wiesel, who writes the story, explains that the child was so light that he hanged, struggling to gasp, for more than half an hour.   ‘Where is God now?’ asked one of those prisoners forced to contemplate the suffering of the child.   “Behind me,” writes Wiesel, “I heard the same man asking:   ‘For God’s sake, where is God?’   And from within me, I heard a voice answer-   ‘Where is He? This is where – hanging here from this gallows…’”

God’s agony didn’t finish on Calvary.   When innocent children cry, God mixes His Tears with theirs, when they bleed, God’s Heart bleeds with them.   If they ask you ‘where is God?’, tell them that God is on Calvary still, dying every day in the womb of some mothers, He is the Victim of famines, of epidemics, of wars, of abuses, of bullying, of mafias, of trafficking, of abandonment, of persecution, of terrorism, of injustice of any kind.   God is still in agony in the suffering of innocents.

But we are with you, Mary, Mother of all Innocents, helping Jesus to bear His Cross, comforting Him with our prayer and reminding Him with our love that all that He suffers for us is worthwhile, and asking God for the end of all this injustice.

Fr George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei,
working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London.

Holy Innocents, Pray for us!holy innocents - pray for us no 2 - 28 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

Quote of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

”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.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe precious death - st augustine - 28 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas.   When you think about the slaughter of these innocent children and the continuing slaughter of the unborn through the horrors of abortion, it becomes clear that they come from the same supreme act of selfishness.   Even though Herod heard the message coming from the prophets of his own people, he had no desire to align his heart with the purposes of God.

 A Prayer for Life
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers of babies
not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
Amen

Taken from Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life” (www.vatican.va)a prayer for life - st pope john paul - 28 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 28 December – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Saints of the Day – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 28 December – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave – Patronages – • against ambition•against jealousy• altar servers•babies•children• children’s choir• choir boys• foundlings• students.   The Massacre of the Innocents is the biblical account of infanticide by Herod the Great, the Roman-appointed King of the Jews.   According to the Gospel of Matthew, Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi.   In typical Matthean style, it is understood as the fulfilment of an Old Testament prophecy:

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying,  A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping,  Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because her children are no more.’

The number of infants killed is not stated.   The Holy Innocents, although Jewish, have been claimed as martyrs for Christianity and the Feast of the Holy Innocents has long been celebrated.holy-innocents-day-4-christmasholy-innocents2016

Taken from THE LITURGICAL YEAR, Christmas II, by Abbot Dom Guéranger.
1 A.D.

THE feast of the beloved Disciple, St John is followed by that of the Holy Innocents.   The Crib of Jesus, where we have already met and venerated the Prince of Martyrs and the Eagle of Patmos, has today standing round it a lovely choir of little Children, clad in snow-white robes and holding green branches in their hands.   The Divine Babe smiles upon them:  He is their King and these Innocents are smiling upon the Church of God. Courage and Fidelity first led us to the Crib;  Innocence now comes and bids us tarry there.

685px-1824_Navez_Das_Massaker_der_Unschuldigen_anagoria
François-Joseph NavezThe massacre of the innocents, 1824

Herod intended to include the Son of God amongst the murdered Babes of Bethlehem. The Daughters of Rachel wept over their little ones and the land streamed with blood but the Tyrant’s policy can do no more, it cannot reach Jesus and its whole plot ends in recruiting an immense army of Martyrs for Heaven.   These Children were not capable of knowing what an honour it was for them to be made victims for the sake of the Saviour of the world but the very first instant after their immolation, all was revealed to them, they had gone through this world without knowing it and now that they know it, they possess an infinitely better.   God showed here the riches of His mercy, He asks of them but a momentary suffering and that over, they wake up in Abraham’s Bosom, no further trial awaits them, they are in spotless innocence and the glory due to a soldier who died to save the life of his Prince belongs eternally to them.

holy-innocentsdec28
Guido ReniMassacre of the Innocents

They died for Jesus’ sake, therefore, their death was a real Martyrdom and the Church calls them by the beautiful name of the Flowers of the Martyrs because of their tender age and their innocence.   Justly then does the ecclesiastical Cycle bring them before us today, immediately after the two valiant Champions of Christ, Stephen and John.   The connection of these three Feasts is thus admirably explained by St Bernard- “In St Stephen, we have both the act and the desire of Martyrdom;   in St John, we have but the desire;   in the Holy Innocents, we have but the act. . . . Will anyone doubt whether a crown was given to these Innocents? . . . If you ask me what merit could they have that God should crown them?   Let me ask you what was the fault for which Herod slew them?   What! is the mercy of Jesus less than the cruelty of Herod and whilst Herod could put these Babes to death, who had done him no injury, Jesus may not crown them for dying for Him?”santos-inocentes-2holy-innocents-matteo-di-giovanni600px-Matteo_di_Giovanni_002

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GiottoMassacre of the Innocents

Stephen, therefore, is a Martyr by a Martyrdom of which men can judge, for he gave this evident proof of his sufferings being felt and accepted, that, at the very moment of his death, his solicitude both for his own soul and for those of his persecutors increased;  the pangs of his bodily passion were less intense than the affection of his soul’s compassion, which made him weep more for their sins than for his own wounds.   John was a Martyr, by a Martyrdom which only Angels could see, for the proofs of his sacrifice being spiritual, only spiritual creatures could ken them.   But the Innocents were Martyrs, to none other eye save Thine, O God!   Man could find no merit,  Angel could find no merit, the extraordinary prerogative of Thy grace is the more boldly brought out.   From the mouth of the Infants and the Sucklings Thou hast perfected praise.   The praise the Angels give Thee is- Glory be to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will it is a magnificent praise, but I make bold to say that it is not perfect till He cometh Who will say:   “Suffer little Children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”

Peter_Paul_Rubens_Massacre_of_the_Innocents
RubensMassacre of the Innocents,

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, SAINT of the DAY

28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents, Memorials of the Saints – 4th Octave Day

Holy Innocents (Feast) –  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgd8awppW8I

St Anthony of Lérins
St Caesarius of Armenia
BL Claudia Weinhardt
St Conindrus
St Domitian the Deacon
St Domnio of Rome
St Eutychius
St Gowan of Wales
Bl Gregory of Cahors
Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn
St Iolande of Rome
Bl Johannes Riedgasser
Bl Nicolas Mello
Bl Otto of Heidelberg
St Romulus
SiSt mon the Myroblite
St Theonas of Alexandria
St Theodore of Tabenna
St Troadius of Pontus

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia:  20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno.    303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints):  Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 28 December

Saint/s of the Day – 28 December – The Holy Innocents

Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” 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). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

It is impossible to determine the day or the year of the death of the Holy Innocents, since the chronology of the birth of Christ and the subsequent Biblical events is most uncertain. All we know is that the infants were slaughtered within two years following the apparition of the star to the Wise Men (Belser, in the Tübingen “Quartalschrift”, 1890, p. 361). The Church venerates these children as martyrs (flores martyrum); they are the first buds of the Church killed by the frost of persecution; they died not only for Christ but in his stead (St. Aug., “Sermo 10us de sanctis”). In connection with them the Apostle recalls the words of the Prophet Jeremias (xxxi, 15) speaking of the lamentation of Rachel. At Rama is the tomb of Rachel, representative of the ancestresses of Israel. There the remnants of the nation were gathered to be led into captivity. As Rachel, after the fall of Jerusalem from her tomb wept for the sons of Ephraim so she now weeps again for the men children of Bethlehem. The ruin of her people, led away to Babylon, is only a type of the ruin which menaces her children now, when the Messias is to be murdered and is compelled to flee from the midst of His own nation to escape from the sword of the apparitor. The lamentation of Rachel after the fall of Jerusalem receives its eminent completion at the sight of the downfall of her people, ushered in by the slaughter of her children and the banishment of the Messias.

The Latin Church instituted the feast of the Holy Innocents at a date now unknown, not before the end of the fourth and not later than the end of the fifth century. It is, with the feasts of St. Stephen and St. John, first found in the Leonine Sacramentary, dating from about 485. To the Philocalian Calendar of 354 it is unknown. The Latins keep it on 28 December, the Greeks on 29 December, the Syrians and Chaldeans on 27 December. These dates have nothing to do with the chronological order of the event; the feast is kept within the octave of Christmas because the Holy Innocents gave their life for the newborn Saviour. Stephen the first martyr (martyr by will, love, and blood), John, the Disciple of Love (martyr by will and love), and these first flowers of the Church (martyrs by blood alone) accompany the Holy Child Jesus entering this world on Christmas day. Only the Church of Rome applies the word Innocentes to these children; in other Latin countries they are called simply Infantes and the feast had the title “Allisio infantium” (Brev. Goth.), “Natale infantum”, or “Necatio infantum”. The Armenians keep it on Monday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost (Armenian Menology, 11 May), because they believe the Holy Innocents were killed fifteen weeks after the birth of Christ.

The Roman Station of 28 December is at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, because that church is believed to possess the bodies of several of the Holy Innocents. A portion of these relics was transferred by Sixtus V to Santa Maria Maggiore (feast on 5 May; it is a semi-double). The church of St. Justina at Padua, the cathedrals of Lisbon and Milan, and other churches also preserve bodies which they claim to be those of some of the Holy Innocents. In many churches in England, Germany, and France on the feast of St. Nicholas (6 December) a boy-bishop was elected, who officiated on the feast of St. Nicholas and of the Holy Innocents. He wore a mitre and other pontifical insignia, sang the collect, preached, and gave the blessing. He sat in the bishop’s chair whilst the choir-boys sang in the stalls of the canons. They directed the choir on these two days and had their solemn procession (Schmidt, “Thesaurus jur eccl.”, III, 67 sqq.; Kirchenlex., IV, 1400; P.L., CXLVII, 135).

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