Scores of children visited St Ann’s RC Church, St Ann’s, yesterday hoping to be blessed bountifully at the Feast of the Holy Innocents service. Also known as Innocents’ Day, it is a mass that commemorates the massacre of children by King Herod in his attempt to find and kill the baby Jesus. Yesterday, the children and their families brought their toys along to be blessed by Monsignor Esau Joseph.
The children clutched their Christmas gifts, which included Ernie from Sesame Street, Bratz and Raggedy Ann dolls and construction trucks. The choir and parishioners sang an upbeat version of Joy to the World, Little Drummer Boy, Let There Be Peace on Earth, Away in a Manger and Long Time Ago in Bethlehem.
Joseph told parishioners: “The lights on the Christmas tree remind us that God is our light. As followers of Jesus we live as followers of the light. Jesus takes away the sins of the world.” Joseph then quoted from the gospels of Matthew and John about Herod’s slaughter of the Jewish children.
He said Jesus’ father, Joseph, fled to Egypt with his wife Mary and Jesus after an angel visited to warn them that Herod intended to kill the infants in that area.
“Today, we ask God to bless the children and their toys...that Jesus will lead them on the right way of light. “Nobody knows how they will turn out and we want them to have the guidance of Jesus so that his light will always be with them. “We want to protect them from the Herods that live in his world—danger and violence,” Joseph said.