Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today's feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven's blessing stream down upon them.
"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.
— St. Augustine
Today would be a wonderful day to begin the custom of blessing your children. Catholic Culture has more information on the rite.
After explaining to the children that the Holy Innocents are now the patrons in heaven of all children it might be a nice time to have an age appropriate discussion about how in this country not all children are safe in the womb and how they need our prayers. Some pro-life ideas...
Read Regina Doman's beautiful book Angel in the Waters.
Say a rosary for all the unborn children in your area
Go shopping for a few new baby items to donate to your local Life Center
Spiritually adopt an unborn baby
Pray for our enemies ~ those abortion advocates who fight to keep the abomination legal.
A traditional dessert served on this feast day is Blanc Mange. It is essentially a white cream pudding served with either cherry or strawberry sauce. It symbolizes the innocent blood shed by Herod.
Blanc Mange Recipe
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
dash of salt
2 tablespoons water
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, salt and water.
Slowly add 1 cup scalded milk, stirring constantly and cook over medium heat until thick and smooth. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Can be poured into wetted molds and chilled or into any pretty serving dish or single servers. Chill and serve with a well flavored sauce.
I would double the recipe at the outset. As it stands, it will make very small servings !!