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Monday 23 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk
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Daily Prayer
And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

“Sweet Flowers of Martyrdom”

INNOCENTS

Public Domain

(First Century)

Their story

+ Today the Church celebrates those children who were killed in Bethlehem and the surrounding area by order of King Herod.

+ These innocent victims gave testimony to the Messiah and Redeemer, not by their words, but by shedding their blood.

+ Honored as martyrs by the Early Church, they have been remembered since the first century.

+ In his beautiful “Hymn for Epiphany,” the poet Prudentius praises the Innocents as “sweet flowers of martyrdom / cut down in life’s bright dawning hour,” and as playing, in their simplicity, by God’s altar with the crowns and martyrs’ palms that are their reward.

For prayer and reflection

In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing,

bitter weeping!

Rachel mourns for her children,

she refuses to be consoled

for her children—they are no more!”—Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:18

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Saint Domitian. A deacon of the church in Ankara (in modern-day Turkey), he died as a martyr, although the date of his death has not come down to us.

Prayer

O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in you which we confess with our lips
may also speak through our manner of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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