Prayer to the Holy Innocents
The “Prayer to the Holy Innocents” is a prayer to the infants of Bethlehem, the very first Christian martyrs, who were slaughtered at the orders of King Herod, who was seeking to eliminate the Baby Jesus, who Herod saw as a threat to his kingship, as reported in Sacred Scripture:
“When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.” (Matthew 2:16)
Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.
Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.
Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.
Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.
Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.
Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us, that one day we may join you there to bask in God’s love forever. Amen.
Let us pray:
We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of Your mercy all innocent victims; and by Your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish Your rule of justice, love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.