Sunday, December 24, 2006

Childermas Day (December 28)

Picture Credit: Giotto's "Slaughter of the Innocents" (c. 1305) Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

Childermas Day is observed on December 27, 28, or 29 in various Christian traditions and commemorates the babies killed by King Herod at Bethlehem in an attempt to destroy Jesus. The event is described in Matthew, Chapter 2 verses 16-18 and in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

"According to Matthew, when the Magi (popularly known as the "Three Wise Men") sought out the birth of Jesus, they first visited Herod the Great to ask if he knew the correct location. On hearing the Magi ask for He that is born King of the Jews, Herod, the Roman client-king in Judea, felt his throne was in jeopardy, and so ordered the slaughter of all male children who were two years old and under...Fortunately...according to Matthew, Joseph, Mary and Jesus had fled to Egypt after they had been warned by an angel." [Answers.com]

You can read and listen to the story of the Magi visiting Jesus and how Herod slaughtered the babies in Bethlehem here. Scroll down to Matthew, Chapter 2.

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