Holy Innocents or Childermas (Children’s Mass) in other countries, is a festival known to Christians as a commemoration of the mass infanticide or massacre of young male children in Bethlehem ages two years old and below by King Herod of Judea.
As recorded in the gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:16), after the visit of the Magi, Herod was in rage and jealousy that he ordered to slaughtered all the baby boys in Bethlehem and surrounding countryside in an attempt to destroy his perceived rival, the infant Messiah, Jesus Christ. These “innocents” are honored by Church as martyrs; some Christian considered them as the first martyrs for Christ.
The date of celebration of Holy Innocents Day varies. For the Roman Catholic Church, it is being celebrated every 28th of December since the sixth century. December 27 for West Syrians (Syriac Orthodox Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and Maronite Church). For the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is being celebrated on the 29th of December.
Nowadays, in countries where innocents are daily being slaughtered by abortion or suffered other innumerable forms of violence which threaten their lives, this feast day is the special time to remember the unborn and to pray for their cause.