Thursday, January 10, 2008
Day of the Holy Innocents - Dia de los Santos Inocentes
As on the Roman calendar, the Byzantine calendar dedicates fifth day of Christmas (tomorrow) to the memory of all those "innocents" who were murdered by Herod in the name of Christ (Mt. 2: 16-18). According to the narrative, the King chose to eliminate all those male children two years and younger, rather than take a chance to be overthrown by this "new born King of the Jews" (Mt. 2:2), as revealed to him by the astrologers (magi).
In some parts of Latin America, this day is one observed in the same manner as "April Fools' Day" is in the US. Mis-information is often given in the media and playful jokes are visited upon "the innocent."
At first glance, this may seem as a strange custom for a day with such a solemn and unfortunate theme. In retrospect, after consideration, I can see the point. It is done to demonstrate the innocence and vulnerability that we all have within us. Whether it's the passing on of information or the telling of a story, we can all be quick to believe, just as small children easily believe all that is told to them by adults.
An additional lesson for us should be that we should take care to always set a good example for our younger people and be truthful with them. They look to us for guidance. Let's try to do our best, because how we influence our youth-generation will effect how the world will be a couple of decades from now.
What will be our legacy?
Included is a photo-shot from our joyful Christmas Divine Liturgy. The church was so festive looking. Happy "Day of the Innocents" to all.