Featured Saint 27/02

The children of Bethlehem slain by Herod

Claim to fame: Before the three wise men presented gifts to Jesus, they appeared before King Herod who asked when the star appeared and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they were about to return to Herod, the Angel of the Lord warned them in a dream that they should not return to Herod, and that they should depart for their own country another way. When they had departed, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him.” Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Herod’s intention was for Jesus to be slain among the children who were slain. He did this by claiming that “By the command of Caesar all the children two years old and under had to be counted.” They gathered 144,000 children in the hands of their mothers. He thought that Jesus would be among them. Then King Herod sent a commander with one thousand soldiers, who slaughtered all these children on one of the mountains in one day.

Quote: A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and a great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

Fun fact: St. John the Evangelist said in Revelation that he saw under the altar the souls of those children that had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they heldhat the new song that the four living creatures and the elders were singing, no one could learn except the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth, who were not defiled with women for they are virgins. They follow the Lord (the Lamb) wherever He goes, and He wipes every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 14:3-4)