When Herod, the king of Judea, heard of the birth of an extraordinary child from the Wise Men who, heading to Bethlehem, followed the star from the east, he became “greatly troubled.” (Matthew 2:1-18) Although he told those men to report back to him after they found the babe, they were warned by an angel and chose to return a different way.

Herod was known for his cruelty. He had killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few. He was despised by the Jews for his allegiance to Rome. He was prone to extreme retaliation by any perceived threat to his throne. He then infamously ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.

We commemorate this day, not only for those poor children, innocent of any crime, 2,000 years ago, but for all who have lost their lives in war, famine, natural disaster or abortion. As Catholics we believe all life is a gift from God and therefore should be sacredly protected.

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Holy Innocents | Franciscan Media. (n.d.). Franciscan Media. Retrieved Dec. 24, 2020, from