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HOLY INNOCENTS

Martyred boys under two years of age, whom King Herod ordered to be massacred. It was an attempt by Herod to kill the Babe of Bethlehem, who he feared would usurp his kingship (Matthew 2:16-18). Legends carry the numbers slain in the thousands, but it is now conceded to have been less than a hundred. The Western Church keeps their feast day on December 28. In Bethlehem it is celebrated with great solemnity.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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