ARCHBISHOP of Port-of- Spain, Joseph Harris, is supporting a decision of one of his priests who said he was no longer blessing toys for the Feast of the Holy Innocents and instead focus on blessing the children.
Asked to comment on the stance taken by Fr Martin Sirju on Thursday, Harris said the Feast of the Holy Innocents calls for a more “dignified” ceremony than one which is focused on toys.
“The Feast of the Holy Innocents is not about toys,” said Harris in a telephone interview with Newsday. “The innocents were killed by Herod because he hated Jesus Christ. He had heard that a new King was born and therefore he wanted to get rid of that King or anybody else who could be a threat to his throne. So Herod went out and killed these children of two years old and under. He killed all who were a threat to his throne.” Harris continued, “In Trinidad and Tobago, the kids who have been killed are no threat to anybody. They are innocent, so that for me, Holy Innocents is about innocent lives that are lost.” For many years, some Roman Catholic and Anglican priests have marked the occasion with the blessing of toys that children received as Christmas presents. Harris said he has only ever seen the tradition practised in Trinidad and Tobago and he does not know when it originated.