Lives of Saints - The Holy Infants Christianity - Books
Don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear.                Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.                Consider the ravens: they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds!                Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height?                If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest?                Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.                But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith?                Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious.                For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things.                But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.               
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Lives of Saints - The Holy Infants

The Holy Infants

Although St. Stephen is generally recognised as the first martyr, he was preceded by a host of innocent babes slaughtered by the infamous Herod whose fearful uncertainty drove him in panic to commit the most heinous of crimes.

It is not generally known that the barbarous Herod, who reigned over the Jews at the time when Christ was born, was not by descent a Jew himself, but a member of a tribe that had been absorbed into Judaism.

Hence, he zealously relished his role as king of the Jews under the Roman Empire. The news of the coming of a Messiah, so alarmed Herod that he hastily assembled about him his close associates, including priest and scribes from whom it was ascertained that the newborn king was coming into the world in the obscure village of Bethlehem.

Still sceptical, he consulted the wise men of the East and asked them to seek out this Christ child. However, these Magi, from various countries, not only venerated the Messiah and bestowed gifts upon them, but returned to their homelands rather than betray Him Who was the King of Kings.

Up to this point Herod had been guilty of atrocities of such vile nature that it came as no surprise that, in order to protect his position, he ordered the massacre of every Jewish male infant under the age of two not only in Bethlehem but for miles around. It is estimated that 14,000 infants were put to the sword.

These holy innocents were the first victims of a persecution that proved itself relentless for centuries.

Pilgrims to the Holy Land discover that entombed deep in the grotto of the Church of the Nativity are many of these Innocents, appropriately enough, beneath the now vanished stable where Christ was born.

At this sacred spot the Patriarch of Jerusalem conducts special commemorative services each year on the 11th of January, a day in which Christians of all denominations can- not fail to pause in respect, in whatever part of the world they might be.



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