Monday, 10 January 2011

The Holy Innocents...

Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. (St Matthew 2:16-18).

Today is the poignant feast of the Holy Innocents, an ancient feast in the Roman Church commemorating the martyrdom of those infants who were massacred by the wicked king on account of the Infant Saviour. St Bede composed a beautiful hymn in honour of the Holy Innocents, which I am yet to see in a fitting translation (it's quite simple so I'll probably get around to it this week):

Hymnum canentes martyrum
dicamus Innocentium,
quos terra deflens perdidit,
gaudens sed æthra suscipit;

Quos rex peremit impius,
pius sed Auctor colligit,
secum beatos collocans
in luce regni perpetis.

Præclara Christo splenduit
mors innocens fidelium;
cælis ferebant angeli
bimos et infra parvulos.

O quam beata civitas,
in qua Redemptor nascitur,
notque primæ martyrum
in qua dicantur hostiæ!

Astant nitentes fulgidis
eius throno nunc vestibus,
stolas suas qui laverant
Agni rubentes sanguine.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui natus es de Virgine,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna sæcula.

1 comment:

  1. g'day Patricius! You said

    "I am yet to see in a fitting translation (it's quite simple so I'll probably get around to it this week"

    I hate to be a bore, but you said this week last week ago. That sounds to me an awful lot like a promise and a promise is a promise.