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How to honor the unborn on the feast of the Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents

Peter Paul Rubens | Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/26/22

The Vatican's Directory on Popular Piety offers some ideas on how to support women and the unborn on the feast of the Holy Innocents.

The Church remembers the Holy Innocents killed by Herod on December 28, also making it a special day of remembrance of all suffering children in the world.

The Vatican’s Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy details a few ideas for honoring the unborn as well as supporting pregnant women on this day.

First the Directory recalls the event that is remembered on December 28.

Since the sixth century, on 28 December, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod’s rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2, 16-17). Liturgical tradition refers to them as the “Holy Innocents” and regards them as martyrs. Throughout the centuries Christian art, poetry and popular piety have enfolded the memory of the “tender flock of lambs” with sentiments of tenderness and sympathy. These sentiments are also accompanied by a note of indignation against the violence with which they were taken from their mothers’ arms and killed.

Then the Directory offers a few suggestions for observing this feast.

In our own times, children suffer innumerable forms of violence that threaten their lives, dignity and right to education. On this day, it is appropriate to recall the vast host of children not yet born who have been killed under the cover of laws permitting abortion, which is an abominable crime. Mindful of these specific problems, popular piety in many places has inspired acts of worship as well as displays of charity which provide assistance to pregnant mothers, encourage adoption and the promotion of the education of children.

All crimes against children can be remembered this day, imploring God to outstretch his justice and mercy upon the world.

In the midst of the Christmas season, December 28 remains a day of joy and sadness, recalling God’s mysterious plan that is often difficult for us to understand.

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