Holy Innocents

Monday 28 December 2009

Holy Innocents

2nd Class, Red


Deus, cujus hodiérna die præcónium Innocéntes Mártyres non loquéndo, sed moriéndo conféssi sunt : ómnia in nobis vitiórum mala mortífica ; ut fidem tuam, quam lingua nostra lóquitur, étiam móribus vita fateátur. Per Dóminum.

Let us pray.

O God, whose praise the martyred Innocents did this day proclaim, not be speaking but by dying, do to death in us all the malice of sinfulness, that our lives may also proclaim thy faith, which our tongues profess. Through.


Holy Innocents, from the Baronius Missal:

It is because Herod believed the words of the Magi and of the high Priests whom he consulted that he sees a rival in the Infant of Bethlehem and with jealousy pursues the Child, born King of the Jews. It is this God-King that the Innocents by dying confess; their passion is the exaltation of Christ.

And a Blogger notes:

Guéranger comments (Vol. 2, Bk. 1, pg. 280) that the Holy Innocents received a Baptism of Blood. This is certainly possible. However, they were all Jewish males, and the common opinion among the Fathers and Doctors of the Church was that circumcision obtained the forgiveness of original sin before the preaching of Christ. (See St. Thomas's article on the effect of circumcision.) If that is correct, then the Holy Innocents were already cleansed from original sin, and would certainly have obtained salvation no matter how they died.

While Tradition does say that the Innocents received a Baptism of Blood, the circumstance of their death did not obtain salvation for them, but added a certain splendor to their heavenly crowns because they were made like Christ (the intended victim) in their deaths.

(image: The Holy Innocents, by Giotto di Bondone)

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