Massacre of the Innocents

The massacre of the Innocents is an episode recounted in the Gospel according to Matthew at the same time as the flight into Egypt: the murder of all the children under the age of two in the region of Bethlehem. According to the Gospel account, this massacre was committed on the order of Herod, fearing the advent of a king of the Jews announced by his own soothsayers, or magi, in the very period of Jesus' birth.

All the churches honor them as martyrs on the Day of the Holy Innocents; this event is celebrated on the 28th December in the West and in the Catholic East, and on December 29 in the Orthodox East.

Massacre of the Innocents

The Massacre of the Innocents by Herod

For Christianity, the Holy Innocents are the children under the age of two massacred by Herod in Bethlehem. This episode is strongly contested by historians. Even if it were true, it only represented between 6 and 20 children according to the figures of the time. The fact is surely directly borrowed from the Old Testament where Pharaoh orders the death of newborn male Israelites.

The Church established the solemn feast of the Holy Innocents from the IIe century. The Catholic Church celebrates this memory “to honour, in the days following the Nativity, those who are called in the East the “children killed by Herod”, and in the West the “Holy Innocents””.

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Today and tomorrow, Christians commemorate the Massacre of the Innocents. Ordered by Herod to kill the future king of the Jews, this event is fixed at the Nativity in memory of these Holy Innocents. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #December 28 #December 29 #saintsinnocents #massacreofinnocents

Massacre of the Innocents massacre of the innocents