The Massacre of 14,000 Holy Innocent Infants, In Bethlehem And Its Borders
The Memory Of Which The Holy Church Celebrates On The 29th Of December
by Father Demetrios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
December 18 2000
"Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying,
'In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted because
they are not!" (Mt. 2:17-18; Jer. 31:15, KJV)
Beloved Friends In Christ Our Lord,
Christ Is Born!
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints!
Humbly by the grace and the joy of our Lord's Holy Nativity, I greet you with His joy and peace each one of you. Nothing has been so joyfully
proclaimed then the birth of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ! For it is Christ our true God that we live, and are spiritually comforted.
The holiness of our Lord's Great Nativity can be a means for us all to look at our own spiritual lives, and ask ourselves the vital question: what
kind of a true Christian life are we living at this time?
Seeing that we are Orthodox Christians by Baptism, let us fulfill the grace that has been poured out upon us every day of our lives remembering that
each and every one of us are indeed precious in the sight of our Lord. And as we are precious in Christ our Lord, so too are those who are with child,
and those who are about to give birth.
How precious is the child within the womb of a mother who spiritually prepares herself for the birth, who knows that the birth will be blessed within
our Holy Orthodox Church as is the custom after forty days.
Both the mother and the new-born child are brought to the Holy Orthodox Church, and prayers are read over both of them on their entrance into the
After this entrance, the days ahead are a time of preparation for the Holy Baptism of the newly-born child, a child so precious to our Lord God, and
to the Holy Orthodox Christian community, that a Godfather and Godmother are provided to be the witnesses of this Holy Baptism, and to help assist in
teaching the child the Holy Orthodox Faith throughout his or her life.
Every women who bears a child always exults in the joy of the birth, as well as in the joy of having a living mind, heart, and soul within their
We must realize that within the Holy Orthodox Church and its teachings there is a clear direction against abortion. This teaching is not something
new in the Eastern Orthodox Church, as it evident that in the first three centuries of the early Church, the Orthodox holy Fathers spoke frequently
The Holy Rachel wept unceasingly when King Herod had ordered his soldiers in both Bethlehem and Judea to have all the children massacred, from the
newly born up to the age of two years old.
Ever since this appalling, unlawful act of the massacre of the 14,000 Holy Innocent Infants, it seems that the loving Holy Rachel has not stopped
weeping to this very hour, as we continue to see abortions being performed in America and in other countries around the world, often with the approval
of local governments.
The Orthodox Church cries out against this act of abortion. But is it not true that our ears remain often remain closed as we are afraid of the truth?
We are allowing death to happen, murder, before our eyes! Death of an innocent child!
The weeping for all martyred children by Rachel has not ceased today! It seems that this holy mother and woman continues to weep! Every time we hear
about another abortion Rachel weeps again!
The idea of reacting against abortion should not cause us to act in a cruel manner, like throwing stones at the places of abortion, or violently
attacking those who perform abortions.
This is not the way we should react as true Christians: what we need to do is to proclaim the truth that every soul created by our Lord God is
precious in His sight. No child should be aborted within any society, in any place where life exists on this earth.
We can only wonder how long our Lord God Himself will allow us to persist in our weakness in allowing the act of abortion to continue to take
Let us pray, pray, and pray again for the newly-born precious children, and those waiting to be born!
Let us-I humbly cry to you-commemorate this day of prayer of the Massacre of the 14,000 Holy Innocent Infants, in Bethlehem, and Judea and reflect on
this day spiritually in God-loving prayer, that we are opposed to these acts of abortion continuing in this country and every place where life
And at the same time let us humbly weep, with Rachel, for all the innocent precious children who have been aborted. Let us piously and humbly help
the Holy Rachel as she weeps for these innocent children, and at the same time realize that within the womb of the mother there is a precious spark of
life that can bring us everlasting joy!
Joy in Christ, and joy for us all! Speak to any father or mother who has just had a child, and see how joyful in their eyes and hearts is this
Lord, have mercy and blessings for all newly born children!
Christ is born" then "glorify Him" you angels with the "glory to God in the highest and on earth peace" (Lk. 2:14).
Glorify Him and go meet Him all people, following the example of the Righteous Simeon who met the Savior in the temple when Mary the Theotokos
(Birth-giver of God) took Him there for His 40-day blessing (Lk. 2:25-32).
"Christ is on earth; be exalted."
Be exalted all people, for the mundane are now adorned on high with the things of heaven! Now that Christ has come to the earth you can ascend the
heavens and become like our first created ancestors Adam and Eve before the sin of disobedience.
"O All the earth sing unto the Lord." Sing with joy, glorifying the New-born Messiah, Savior and Deliverer, Jesus Christ.
What shall I say and what proclaim?
"Behold, a Virgin in womb shalt conceive and She shalt give birth a Son, and they will call Him the name Emmanuel, in interpretation: God is with us
[S nami Bog / Meth' hemon ho Theos / Nobiscum Deus]" (Mt 1:23).
The saying here deals not with something for future whereof we might learn to hope, but rather it tells us about something that already has occurred
and it awes us with something that already has been fulfilled. What formerly was said to the Jews and fulfilled amidst them, is now thus amidst us
realised as an occurrence, whereof we have received (this prophecy), and adopted it, and believed in it. The prophet says to the Jews: "Behold, a
Virgin shalt conceive" (Is 7:14);