Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). Uncertain of the whereabouts of the Holy Family, he ordered the massacre of all male children under the age of two. Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents" and regards them as martyrs. Throughout the centuries Christian art, poetry and popular piety have enfolded the memory of the "tender flock of lambs" with sentiments of tenderness and sympathy.
Lord, as the horror of genocide continues today through the mask of abortion, strengthen us for the battle and enlighten us to the awareness of your beautiful gift of life. We pray for your continued grace. Amen.