02 January 2018

Commemoration of the Feast of the Holy Innocents: Mass celebrated in the Church of the Nativity

On December 28, 2017, the Holy Innocents were remembered in a mass celebrated in the cave located in the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, place where the massacre ordered by order of King Herod took place.

Christians in the Holy Land

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The cave in which, according to a medieval tradition, [the massacred] children were buried, introduces the faithful into a very meaninful atmosphere. The death of the Holy Innocents could arise more than one perplexity in relation to the conduct of Herod, however, in his homily, the Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land, Father Dobromir Jasztal, highlighted that, without diminishing the profile of injustice, the martyrdom of these Children can be understood only from the standpoint of both the incarnation and the death of Jesus. Father Dobromir also emphasized that this event is even more relevant in the lives of families who wish to follow God's plans, despite the challenges.

Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land
"The family loves God and accepts His will in spite of the difficulties that may arise from time to time, from day to day, with humility, with a heart willing to accept the will of God, trusting in His plans, without the excessive use of human logic.”

The Holy Mass witnessed the participation of about 70 people, including religious and laity. This was a special day of prayer also for the many other innocents such as the victims of war, violence, hunger and abortion: broken lives, the consequence of which compromise the future of the new generations.

Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land
"Life is a gift that we have received directly from God, therefore, first of all, it must be accepted, it must be lived and it must end in the hands of God. No one is allowed to raise his hand to take possession of this right and divine gift, therefore, without a doubt, any attempt on human life is an attempt on humanity.”

In addition to the altar in memory of the Holy Innocents, the cave also houses another shrine dedicated to St. Joseph, referring to the episode in which the angel appeared to him in a dream and warned him to run away from Herod with Jesus and Mary, towards Egypt. Joseph, an example of a man of faith, was ready to follow the designs of the Lord.

Vicar of the Custody of the Holy Land
"Saint Joseph stands out above the crowd for his obedience to the will of God and he is also an example for all of us because of his acceptance of God's will: he helps us to recognize the presence of God in all these difficult moments. It does not matter if you have to escape, if you have to move, it does not matter if you have to adapt to certain conditions, what is important is to allow God's will to take place in our lives!”