Monday, December 28, 2015

Feast of the Holy Innocents

The Holy Family flees to Egypt while
Angels carry the souls of the innocent
up to heaven.
Today we celebrate the sainthood of the church's youngest martyrs. Hearing of the newborn king Jesus, King Herod was afraid that this infant would be a threat to his sovereignty. Not wanting to risk that, he had all baby boys under the age of 2 murdered. Because these innocent children died for Christ, they are considered to have received a baptism of blood.
In the Catholic church, there are three 'kinds' of baptism.
1. Regular baptism by water. Performed by a priest or a layman, this baptism is the familiar ritual of pouring water (just water. Not milk, or tears, or juice) over the head of the person and saying "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."
2. Baptism by desire. This is if somebody wants baptism, but for whatever reason cannot get it before they die. Maybe it's a deathbed conversion and a priest can't make it on time, or you were on your way to your baptism ceremony and were killed.
3. Baptism by blood is where an unbaptized person is killed as a martyr for Jesus Christ. This is the kind of baptism that the Holy Innocents received.
On the day of this tragedy, we not only remember the babies murdered by King Herod, we also remember all young children who never got a chance at life.
Keep in your prayers today young children killed in accidents or through disease, babies killed through abortion, miscarriages, and for all children.

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