The Holy Martyred 14,000 Infants
Commemorated on December 29
Holy Martyred 14,000 Infants were
killed by king Herod in Bethlehem. When the time was come for the fulfilling of
the greatest of events – the Incarnation of the Son of God and His Birth of
the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Magi in the East beheld a new star in the heavens,
foretelling the Nativity of the King of the Jews. They set off immediately to
Jerusalem to worship the Born-Child, and the star showed them the way. Having
worshipped the Divine-Infant, they did not return to Jerusalem to Herod, as he
had ordered them to, but rather – receiving a revelation from on high – they
went back to their country by another way. Herod finally realised that his
scheme to find the Infant would not have success, and he gave orders to kill
all the male children two years and younger at Bethlehem and its surroundings.
He reasoned, that among the dead children would be also the Divine-Infant, Whom
he considered a rival. The murdered infants became the first martyrs for
Christ. The rage of Herod fell also on Simeon the God-Receiver, who declared in
witness in front of everyone in the Temple that the Messiah had been born. When
the holy elder died, Herod would not give permission that he be properly
buried. And on the orders of king Herod, the holy prophet and priest Zachariah
also was killed: they murdered him in the Jerusalem Temple betwixt the
Offertory and the Altar – because he would not tell the whereabouts of his son
John, the future Baptist of the Lord Jesus Christ.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.