January 4th: Extract from Dom Gueranger on the Octave of Holy Innocents

"Prudentius, the Poet of the Mysteries and the Martyrs, and from whom the Church has taken her beautiful stanzas for the Feast of the Holy Innocents, 'Salvete, Flores Martyrum', - celebrates the immolation of these lovely Babes of Bethlehem, in his exquisite Hymn for the Epiphany. It is from this Hymn that the Roman Liturgy has had recourse for several great Feasts; and we now extract from it the strophes which refer to our dear Innocents."

Here are three:

"Hail, ye Flowers of the Martyrs! The enemy of Christ cut you down in the very threshold of life, as rose-buds are snapped by a storm.

First Victims for Jesus! Tender flock of his Martyrs!ye, with sweet simplicity, play with palms and your crowns, even at the very altar of your sacrifice!

And what does Herod gain by this dark crime? Does it give him what he sought? The single One he cared to kill is Jesus, and He still lives!"

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