Feast Day: December 29th
The 14,000 Holy Innocents: Herod finally realised that his scheme to find the Child would not be successful, and he ordered that all the male children two years old and younger at Bethlehem and its surroundings be killed. He thought that the Divine Infant, Whom he considered a rival, would be among the dead children…
Apolytikion: As acceptable victims and freshly plucked flowers, as divine first-fruits and newborn lambs, you were offered to Christ who was born as a child, Holy Innocents. You mocked Herod’s wickedness; now we beseech you: “Unceasingly Pray for our Souls.”
Kontakion: When the King was born in Bethlehem, the Magi came from the East. Having been guided by the star on high, they brought Him gifts. But in his exceeding wrath, Herod mowed down the infants as wheat; lamenting that the rule of his kingdom had come to an end.
Apolytikion: Be Thou entreated for the sake of the sufferings of Thy Saints which they endured for Thee, O Lord, and do Thou heal all our pains, we Pray, O Friend of man.
Apolytikion: A star sent the Magi to the newly born Child, and Herod sent his army in vain. He was wanting to murder Him Who lay in the manger as an infant.
The murdered infants became the first Martyrs for Christ
In his rage, Herod also refused for the Holy Elder Saint Symeon the God-Receiver to have a proper burial, because he declared to all in the Temple that the Messiah had been born.