MANILA, Philippines—Saturday is the Day of the Holy Innocents, also known as Niños Inocentes.
The feast, traditionally celebrated on Dec. 28, following Christmas, was instituted by the Latin Church in the 4th or 5th century.
Filipino Catholics have come to associate the feast with the more popular April Fool’s Day. It has become a practice of some to play practical jokes on people as they liken “innocence” to being gullible or naive.
In past years, prelates encouraged churchgoers to deepen their understanding of the feast, adding that a good practice would be to bring infants to church to be blessed on this day
The feast actually commemorates the massacre of male children 2 years old and below in Bethlehem on orders of King Herod following Jesus’ birth.
In the Bible, the Gospel according to Matthew tells the story of the three wise men who came to Herod looking for the newborn Jesus.
Threatened by the infant whom the wise men called the “King of the Jews,” Herod asked them to return to him after pinpointing the baby so that he too could “worship Him.” Inquirer Research
Bishop: Innocents’ Day is no time for pranks
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