September 10, 2010

The Holy Monastery of the Holy Infants in Thebes

The Holy Monastery of the Holy Infants was founded in 2000 with the blessing of Metropolitan Ieronymos of Thebes and is dedicated to the Holy Infants slaughtered by Herod soon after the birth of Christ. When Herod had heard that the Magi did not return to inform him of the location of the new-born King, and an Angel revealed to them to return to their homeland by another route, he became very angry and ordered his soldiers to slaughter every infant in Bethlehem and the surrounding villages under the age of two in order to kill the infant Christ. His plan failed however according to God's will, but the slaughter left many Infants dead, and the Church considers them martyrs who gained the Kingdom of Heaven. Tradition says that the number of Infants slaughtered were 14,000.

This Holy Monastery, the only one in the world dedicated to the Holy Infants, is found in the village of Oinoi (Οινόη) before Villia (Βίλλια) near the 11th century Monastery of Saint Meletios Kithairinos.

It celebrates its feast day on December 29, which is the feast of the Holy Infants.