Slaughter of the Innocents – Leon Cogniet

Invariably the Memorial of Holy Innocents gets swamped with post-Christmas celebrations. We’ve got a house to clean up, kids to amuse, relatives to visit, gifts to return AND most of us are supposed to get back to work.

Priests usually take a few days off. At our parish the office is closed this week and Father is maintaining a skeleton service of the sacraments.

Its a shame because this Memorial of the Holy Innocents is more important than ever.

We remember the slaughter of babies by Herod the (not so) Great. The children of Judea were slaughtered because they were a perceived threat to Herod. They were the victims of his violence, greed and lust. They were victims of his lunacy–his egomania, paranoia and delusions of grandeur.

As we keep the memorial it is worth remembering the Holy Innocents in our world today who are victims of the many mini-heroes of our day.

Here are ten categories of the Holy Innocents today. Pray for them and remember them in today’s continued battle against the forces of darkness.

As there are ten, remember them as you say a decade of the rosary today.

  1. The Unborn – Victims of abortion must top the list of today’s Holy Innocents. Unable to defend themselves, unaware of the fact that their tiny lives are being ended, they suffer not only being murdered by a cruel and greedy Herod doctor, but being killed by their own mother. Lord Have Mercy.
  2. Children Who Are Abused – Children locked in hot cars to dies a slow death. Children imprisoned in their room for hours on end. Children who are beaten. Children who are mocked by the ones who should love them. Children who are punished and hurt for little or no reason. Children who are neglected and tossed aside. Lord Have Mercy.
  3. Child Slaves – Pray for the Holy Innocents in poor countries who work long hours in sweat shops. Deprived of their childhood, they are forced to work for low wages. Deprived of an education, their little lives are swallowed up by greedy task masters. Shame on our consumerist society for we go to the Mall, to the economy Mart and happily buy consumer goods at cheap prices–too often the fruit of the sweat of today’s Holy Innocents. Lord Have Mercy.
  4. Child Prostitutes – Human trafficking is bigger business than ever before. With global travel the innocent little ones are increasingly at risk from sex tourists. Men travel to poor countries and take their pick of the boys and girls for their own lust. Horrible mini-Herods who slaughter the innocent and rob them of their childhood, their purity and their grace. Lord Have Mercy.
  5. The Sexually Abused – How can any adult force himself on a little child? Most abuse takes place within the family. The Holy Innocents are raped by a step father, an uncle, a cousin or a big brother. Worst of all are the children sexually abused by their pastor, their rabbi, their priest or teacher. A position of faith, hope and trust was smashed into a relationship of despair, betrayal and lust. Lord Have Mercy.
  6. The Poor Children who are born into poverty suffer from the beginning. The torment is slow but sure. They have no healthcare. They have no proper housing. They have no food. They have no clean water. They have no education. Often their poverty and the poverty of their countries is the result of tyranny at home and greed and lust for power among the rich and powerful in the world. Lord Have Mercy.
  7. Children of Divorce How easily their parents justify the breakdown of their marriage and home. “Oh, the children will be alright. It is better for them that they do not hear us fighting all the time.” No it is not. A broken home is a terrible injustice and trauma for any child. Selfish parents who divorce and break down a marriage and a home are mini-Herods–driven by selfishness, greed and lust. Lord Have Mercy.
  8. Children in War – When the dogs of war are let loose the little children suffer. Their homes are blown up. Their parents are killed. They are wounded, maimed for life and all hope is destroyed. War savages the little children, and too often they are taught from the start of their lives to bear arms and participate in the killing. So they become warriors and lose their childhood innocence. Lord Have Mercy.
  9. Spoiled Children – A terrible way to murder the innocents is to kill them with kindness. Look at the poor children who get instant gratification from rich parents who are too lazy and indulgent to say “No.” Growing up feeling entitled they do not prepare their children for the rigors of life, but soothe them into a false security. Their own greed and materialism is transferred to their children like a sad, slow acting cancer. Lord Have Mercy.
  10. The Spiritually Dead – Children brought up in a secular, materialist, atheist culture are victims of a kind of cultural and philosophical violence. Their little souls are stunted because they are never fed, never nourished and nurtured. Believing there is nothing other than this physical realm, they are starved of spirituality, starved of grace, starved of imagination, starved of all that makes life truly beautiful, good, free and eternal. Like baby zombies, they go through life in an almost sub human state–having had all that makes them truly human killed because of secular materialist atheism. Lord Have Mercy.

My latest book, Praying the Rosary for Spiritual Warfare follows this pattern of using the rosary to pray against the terrible evil in our world today. Go here to learn more.

Image Wikkimedia via Bing