Ask the little children who died a martyr’s death for courage to live a virtuous life.
Even though the Holy Innocents, who died at the command of Herod, had a short life on earth, their example can still inspire us to offer our own lives as a living sacrifice to God.
Furthermore, they are now united with the Christ Child in Heaven and are powerful intercessors, able to call down God’s many graces upon us.
One grace in particular we should pray for is the courage and strength to live out our Christian life in a virtuous manner, willing to do all that it takes to be united with God. Here is a short prayer from a 19th-century prayer book that asks these little children for help as we daily labor on earth with the hope of one day being united with them in Heaven.
The innocent and sinless are not to be without their penance in this world, upon which falls the deep shadow of sin. I see it is Thy holy will, who wiliest all things well.
I, then, will at least deny myself some little pleasure each day for love of Thee.
I will not always seek and choose the easy and the flowery path.Teach me to give up daily my own will with gladness for Thy dear sake.
Ye holy Innocents, blest Babes, earliest martyrs of Jesus Christ, the King of martyrs, how bright a life was won by that sharp death!
Beautiful little martyrs of the holy Child, your eyes soon closed upon the dull mists of earth, to open upon untold glories.
Bitter and short the passage, but Oh, Low passing sweet the end!
How sweet to have died for Him who came to give His life for you!
Pray for me, ye stainless ones, before the Throne, that I too, unworthy and wayward as I am, may come to be with those who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.
Most Holy Child Jesus, save Thy children.