Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

Today is the fourth day of Christmas. We remember the innocent children slaughtered by King Herod as a way of disposing of the Hebrew King. Little did he know that the King's Throne would be a manger.

Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today's feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven's blessing stream down upon them.

"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

(Catholic Culture)

Today let us also remember in our prayers all the unborn children.
O! Mary Mother of Jesus and Our Mother,
Together with St. Michael, the Archangel
and the heavenly army of Angels,
Protect the unborn.
And all innocent children of God.
Ask our Heavenly Father to forgive and
Convert those who advocate or
Practice abortion,
And to instill in them respect and
Reverence for all human life and dignity.
Grant this world that peace and justice
that can only come from following
Your Son, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Blogger Carmel said...

That's a beautiful prayer, have you heard of Angela Baird? She was a young Catholic girl and before she died she prayed the rosary for the unborn children, she was very passionate about this.
The story of Herod is the first story that I remember from the Bible, it was just terrible, yet still today people are acting out Herod with abortion, doctors, mothers etc. Mother Teresa was also very passionate about the children.
So yes lets remember the innocent children who were slaughterd and also today before they can even be born. :D
Thank you

4:20 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Oh, I did not know about Angela Baird. Thank you for pointing this out to me. I looked her up online and her story is such an inspiration! Carmel, you ought to tell us about her on your blog (if you want). This girl could be proclaimed a saint.

Yes, we need to pray for all those who contemplate abortion because they don't know what they are doing. Perhaps Angela's courage and example will lead people to offer their Rosaries for the end of abortion. As Father Pavone says "America will never believe in abortion until it sees abortion!"

Thank you again for the info on Angela. God bless you!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Sonya said...

That is one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever read. Thank you!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're welcome Sonya! It is such a beautiful prayer, isnt' it?

God bless!

6:21 PM  

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