why are the holy innocents considered martyrs

What! And whilst Herod could put these Babes to death, who had done him no injury, Jesus may not crown them for dying for Him?”. The Roman Catholic Church honors today, Dec. 28, the first martyrs of the Catholic faith — the Holy Innocents (Santos Inocentes) — the children of the neighborhood of Bethlehem who were massacred upon the order of King Herod of Judea in his desperate attempt to eliminate the Infant Jesus, the newborn King. Where is the merit of the Holy Innocents, which not even angels could see since no act existed on their part? However, not all families have canonised saints. Leo in his homilies on the Epiphany speaks of the Innocents. Posted on January 25, 2016 by Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. Though this may not have eased the pain at the time, it will certainly transform the pain those families felt as they enter into the justice of Heaven. In his letter to all the Bishops of 28 December 2016, at the occasion of the Holy Innocents Martyrs, Pope Francis wrote: Christian joy does not arise on the fringes of reality, by ignoring it or acting as if it did not exist. The Holy Innocents are the special patrons … It is a first-century feast that has been kept in the West from the 4the century. Despite the great number of sinners who die unrepentant, there are still huge numbers of children who die baptised and guiltless and go straight to Heaven. Fulgentius of Ruspe(6th century) gives a homily De Epiphania, deque … 19:14),’ and in the mystery of my mercy, there shall be peace to men that cannot even use their will.”. Man could find no merit; angel could find no merit; the extraordinary prerogative of Thy Grace is the more boldly brought out.”. Thus, the thrones left empty by the angels that sinned, continue to be filled according to God’s plan. They are considered martyrs, but are they officially saints? “‘Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise (Ps. Thus, when you have difficulties, remember the children who may have been born in your family and died shortly after their baptisms. But it also reminds us that death will follow the birth of the baby Jesus all too soon. The Holy Innocents, who were the children, killed by Herod to see if he could kill the Messias, did not want to become martyrs, and were martyred by an outside force. Let me ask you what was the fault for which Herod slew them? Proudly created with Wix.com, Charity Number (Revenue): CHY 20680 / Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20082277, Your personal data will be processed by Irish Society for Christian Civilisation (ISFCC), a registered charity: CHY 20680 / CRA 20082277 (data controller) ... Read more, © Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, Why the Holy Innocents Are Martyrs Due to God’s Goodness, Pray to the Natural Patron Saints of Your Families, © 2023 by Name of Site. The Holy Innocents are the children who were slaughtered at the orders of King Herod, in the hope that by killing every boy born in Bethlehem at the same time as Jesus, he would succeed in killing the new-born King of the Jews. 8:3).’ The praise the angels give thee is: ‘Glory be to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will (Lk. Saint John wanted to be a martyr but was not killed for the faith. Saint Bernard notes: “In Saint Stephen, we have both the act and the desire of martyrdom; in Saint John, we have but the desire; in the Holy Innocents we have but the act…”. In almost all families—if not among siblings, at least among cousins or somewhat distant relatives—there have been children baptised shortly before dying, who are in Heaven. “‘Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise (Ps. Saint Bernard says this in poetic language that is very well analyzed and very beautiful. © 2023 by Name of Site. Comments Policy: TFP.org reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Good old Father Z has just published a great post on the Holy Innocents that includes the Coventry Carol too. Thus, when you have difficulties, remember the children who may have been born in your family and died shortly after their baptisms. Attacks upon innocents have increased with people killing them through abortion. They are the natural patron saints of your families. Jan 3, 2020 - Explore Lisa Wuertz's board "Holy Innocents (Dec. 29)", followed by 145 people on Pinterest. This displays the exuberance of God’s mercy, whereby the Holy Innocents are saints. The definition of martyr is a bit more broad than simply to die willingly on behalf of Christ. Saint Bernard says this in poetic language that is very well analysed and very beautiful. It is this God-King that the Innocents by dying confess (Collect). But the theme of martyrdom carries through even in other feasts for saints who technically are not martyrs. And whilst Herod could put these Babes to death, who had done him no injury, Jesus may not crown them for dying for Him?”. Can we pray to the Holy Innocents? This is a well-disputed and triumphantly-reasoned argument. Covid Did Not Increase the Death Rate in the U.S. This comment is a bit complex but can be easily understood. Seems it is not as “recent” as I’d described above (now edited), but was composed in the 16th century! Today the Church remembers the Holy Innocents, the children mentioned in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 2:16-18. John the Apostle, who is celebrated the Sunday after Christmas, is considered a martyr by will. The Holy Innocents were called that not because they didn’t have sin. Indeed, by their infancy, they had no will and no understanding of what was happening. The biblical text evokes recollection of the death of the firstborn at Passover, when the Angel of Death passed over Egypt. Saint Bernard notes: “In Saint Stephen, we have both the act and the desire of martyrdom; in Saint John, we have but the desire; in the Holy Innocents we have but the act…”. On this occasion, we should remember that those that have canonized saints in their families should be very devoted to them. Outside of the chastisement foreseen at Fatima, I see no remedy for this problem. Is the mercy of Jesus less than the cruelty of Herod? It is very reasonable, useful, and worthwhile to pray to these children to protect you. This would be an exception to the rule, and the Holy Innocents should be considered martyrs by the baptism of blood. This perspective helps us understand a little better how the world fits into God’s salvific plan for humanity. Thus, in great cities like Brazil’s São Paulo, where very bad people continually die, many souls also go to Heaven daily. 2:14).’ It is a magnificent praise, but I make bold to say that it is not perfect till he cometh who will say: ‘Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such (Mt. It is very reasonable, useful, and worthwhile to pray to these children to protect you. Saint John wanted to be a martyr but was not killed for the faith. This perspective helps us understand a little better how the world fits into God’s salvific plan for humanity. Indeed, by their infancy, they had no will and no understanding of what was happening. © 2021 The American TFP. These children are considered martyrs and are remembered on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, December 28, the 4th of the 12 days of Christmas. The feast of the Holy Innocents has been celebrated in the West since at least the fifth century, where it appears in … … If you ask me what merit could they have that God should crown them? Proudly created with. “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 his own wounds. Is the mercy of Jesus less than the cruelty of Herod? Thus, a legion of Innocents is in Heaven and continually prays for us. Marcelo O. Tubac, OFM. Angels cannot see what does not exist. Thus, Saint Bernard raises the problem of whether these children should be recognized as martyrs: “Will anyone doubt whether a crown [of martyrdom] was given to these Innocents? The day honors those that are considered to be martyrs because they not only died for Christ but instead of Christ. The martyrdom of the Holy Innocents is a difficult theological problem. Despite the great number of sinners who die unrepentant, there are still huge numbers of children who die baptized and guiltless and go straight to Heaven. St. John Kanty, whose day is before Christmas Eve, longed to be a martyr. Their passion is the exaltation of Christ. Since it is in doubt, would it be unwise to possibly misdirect prayers to them when they might not even be in heaven? Outside of the chastisement foreseen at Fatima, I see no remedy for this problem. A: Your observation is astute. January 22nd is not a day of observance on the Church’s calendar unless it happens to fall on a Sunday. Why the Holy Innocents Are Martyrs Due to God’s Goodness. The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on December 28, 1965. It didn’t necessarily have to be this way. The massive campaigns against child mortality have fortunately resulted in fewer such deaths. This is a most beautiful thought that the peace to men of good will is extended even to men without wills. kathleen says: December 28, 2016 at 19:46. If we say, “We have fellowship … … If you ask me what merit could they have that God should crown them? Liturgical Colour : Red Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we commemorate the memory of the Holy Innocents, the martyrs of the faith who were slaughtered on the orders of king Herod of Judea, who murdered them in his futile attempt to destroy the Messiah and Saviour of the world, the True King Whom Herod feared would topple him and take over the kingdom and power and rule from … When Herod realized that the wise men had tricked him, and were not returning to tell him where they had found the child Jesus, he sent his soldiers to kill all male children ages two and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas. Martyr by will Privacy Policy© 2021 the American TFP January 22nd is not a that! Considered martyrs, pray for us easily understood, such are our times that this. Scripture and secular history, Innocents die so that the peace to men without wills Innocents were martyrs but., to none other eye save Thine, O God of infants and sucklings... 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