Innocents’ Day: A Tale of Sorrow

Innocents’ Day: A Tale of Sorrow,

December 28th is more than just another date on the calendar. It marks a historic and deeply moving moment: the tragedy of the massacre ordered by Herod the Great in Bethlehem.

Herod and the Massacre of the Innocents

The True Origin of Innocents’ Day

In those times of Israel under Herod’s rule, Magi from the East, possibly Medean priests, and experts in astrology, arrived in Jerusalem. Their knowledge of the “science of cycles” led them to foresee a crucial event: the birth of the future king of Israel.

This event, it is believed, coincided with an exceptional planetary alignment around 6 B.C.

Guided by the stars and relying on prophecies from the Old Testament, like the one found in Numbers 24:17 speaking of the rise of a new king marked by a star in Israel, these wise men pursued their vision until they found the child, recognizing him as king through symbolic offerings.

The arrival of the Magi and their inquiries about the birth of the future king of Israel caused great unrest in Herod. Fearful of losing his power and known for his ruthless actions, including the murder of his family members, Herod saw in this prophecy a direct threat to his reign.

Seeking to secure his position, Herod consulted with Israel’s religious leaders and scholars, delving into the Scriptures to determine the prophesied birthplace of the new king. His obsession with the security of his throne would lead him to take extreme measures, thus marking a tragic episode in history.

In his quest to eliminate the supposed future king of Israel, a political rival in his mind, Herod did not hesitate to sacrifice the lives of countless children under two years of age.

The exact number of children killed by Herod’s orders remains uncertain. According to tradition, about 30 children died at the hands of Roman soldiers.

Herod’s desperate act, attempting to eliminate the Messiah after feeling deceived by the Magi, becomes a timeless symbol of cruelty against the innocent.

Beyond Pranks

Innocents’ Day as a Reflection on Child Protection

Over time, Innocents’ Day has taken on a lighter tone in some cultures, becoming a day for harmless pranks and jests. This shift towards humor contrasts with the historical and somber background of the date.

On this day, tribute is paid to all the innocent children who have been victims of violence and injustice throughout history. It’s a stark reminder that the youngest often suffer the consequences of conflicts and social issues.

This commemoration invites us to become aware of the vulnerability of children to the horrors of the world, whether it be violence, abuse, or exploitation. It’s a call to action to protect childhood and work towards a fairer and safer future for them.

It challenges us to question how we are contributing to building a better world for future generations. Educating, supporting, and ensuring the human rights of children are crucial for their development and well-being.

This day is an opportunity to appreciate the crucial role of the family in the protection and development of children. As adults, we have the responsibility to provide them with a loving and safe environment, guiding them toward a promising future.

The Catholic Church, for its part, uses this date to remember the children “killed before birth” and to reflect on the sanctity of life from conception.