Hope of the Innocents
The feast of the Holy Innocents, falling appropriately enough within the octave of Christmas, might seem a troubling commemoration at first glance. The wholesale slaughter of innocent children? Yet this feast signifies certain theological principles that are not appreciated as they should be.
The story is a familiar one, recounted by Saint Matthew at the beginning of his Gospel, when the Magi returned to their country ‘by another route’, to avoid revealing to Herod the identity and location of the Messiah. Herod, in his rage, decided to have every male child under two years old in Bethlehem killed, just to be