King Herod waited for the wise men to return and tell him where the newly-born King was. When they did not come back. he was very angry.
From what the wise men had told him. Herod knew that the Child could not be more than two years old. He ordered his soldiers to go to Bethlehem and kill all the male children, of two years and under. In male children, of two years and under. In this way he thought that Jesus, too, would be killed.
The soldiers obeyed the wicked Herod. That day there was great sorrow in Bethlehem. The soldiers went to each house, took the boy babies, and put them to death.
These children so cruelly killed are called by the Church the Holy Innocents. Every year there is a day set aside in memory of their death. This feast is celebrated on December 28.
But the soldiers of Herod did not kill Jesus. In the night an angel bad appeared to Joseph and said, "Arise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there till I tell you to come back. Herod wants to kill the Child."
And so Joseph rose, took Mary and the little Jesus, and fled to Egypt. In this way Jesus was saved. Jesus was saved.
A few years after the murder of the Holy Innocents, King Herod was stricken with a very terrible disease, and died in torments. His son, Archelaus, succeeded him as king.
Then an angel appeared again to Joseph. He said, "Rise, take the Child and His Mother, and return to the land of Israel. Those who sought to kill the Child are now dead."
The Holy Family went back to the land of Israel. Joseph however was afraid that Archelaus might harm Jesus, and so he did not go to live in Bethlehem or Judea. He took Jesus instead to Galilee, to his old home in Nazareth.
There Jesus grew up and spent all His childhood and youth, till He began His public life. He was obedient to His mother and to Joseph. By this life He teaches us the great virtue of obedience to our parents and superiors, and so to God.
- from , by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D., 1934; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael J O'Doherty of Manila, Philippines