Holy Innocents


Holy Innocents is known as the Massacre of the Innocents, an episode of infanticide by the King of Judea, Herod the Great, that appears in the Gospel of Matthew 2:16-18. The author, traditionally Matthew the Evangelist, reports that Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi. The incident is described as the fulfillment of passages in the Old Testament read as prophecies. The infants, known in the Church as the Holy Innocents, have been claimed as the first Christian martyrs. They are the patron saints for babies and children.


About Author

Fr Anthony is a priest of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel, and is currently the Director of Identity and Mission at the Australian Catholic University.

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