Martyrdom of the Holy Innocents

"Lullay, Thou little tiny child, By, by, lully, lullay. Lullay, Thou little tiny child. By, by, lully, lullay. O sisters, too, how may we do, For to preserve this day; This poor youngling for whom we sing, By, by, lully, lullay. Herod the King, in his raging, Charged he hath this day; His men of might, in his own sight, All children young, to slay. Then woe is me, poor child, for thee, And ever mourn and say; For thy parting, nor say nor sing, By, by, lully, lullay." – the Coventry Carol, which was a song from a medieval Mystery Play in which it was sung by the women of Bethlehem to their babies, urging them to "Be still, be still, my little child," just before the unwilling soldiers of King Herod came to slaughter their infants in Herod's attempt to eliminate a competitor, the newborn King of the Jews, Jesus Christ. In the liturgical calendar, those children are commemorated as martyrs on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents. This stained glass panel dating to the 1520s is one of many in the V&A that comes from the cloisters at the Cistercian abbey of Mariawald, in Germany.

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Fonte: Lawrence OP

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