Father Steve offers his homily for your reflection on this the great feast day of the first of the Church's Martyrs- Saint Stephen.
Yesterday, Christmas day, Islamic militants in Nigeria set off numerous car bombs strategically located outside of Christian churches. At last count, 27 people were dead and dozens were injured. The worst devastation happened outside a Catholic church, as the explosion was timed to coincide with the exact moment that the faithful were leaving after attending Mass.
Such atrocities are not limited to Nigeria. A recent survey of religious persecution throughout the world identified Christians as individuals or groups as most frequently targeted by persecution and violence. Our experience might be otherwise, but for many Christians, practicing and professing the Faith is dangerous business..
Today, in anticipation of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, we share the Westminster Cathedral Choir's haunting performance of "The Coventry Carol," a mother's lullaby to her baby son, doomed to be killed by King Herod.