Merry Fourth Day of Christmas!
This gift on the Fourth Day of Christmas represents the four Evangelists – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – because they spread everywhere the good news of the Gospel.
The four collie birds (blackbirds; often mispronounced as “calling birds”; optional spelling colly, colley, curley).
Today we also celebrate the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents
Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.
Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.”
The Holy Innocents saved the Child Jesus from death by King Herod by the shedding of their own blood.
The Holy Innocents are the special patrons of small children, who can please the Christ Child by being obedient and helpful to parents, and by sharing their toys and loving their siblings and playmates.
The feast of the Holy Innocents is an excellent time for parents to inaugurate the custom of blessing their children. From the Ritual comes the form which we use on solemn occasions, such as First Communion. But parents can simply sign a cross on the child’s forehead with the right thumb dipped in holy water and say:
May God bless you,
and may He be the Guardian of your heart
and mind—the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit.
Merry Fourth Day of Christmas
We love you all!