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The only Church in the Orthodox World dedicated to the Holy Innocents

The only Church in the orthodox world dedicated to the Holy Innocents is located in Oinoi, Attica, near the historic Monastery of Saint Meletius Kithaironos. This Church is in fact the Katholikon which belongs to the Holy Monastery of the Holy Innocents, which was founded in 2000 with the blessing of the then Metropolitan of Thebes and Levadeia and current Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and all Greece.

The Holy Monastery is dedicated to the memory of the Holy 14,000 infants who were killed by order of Herod during the time of Christ’s birth.

When the Magi did not return to Herod to tell him where Christ was, that wicked king devised another plan to destroy the Divine Infant. Herod had heard that, according to the Scriptures, the birthplace of Christ would be Bethlehem. But because he did not know who Jesus was, whether he was in Bethlehem or in its surroundings, and because he concluded that the child would be under two years old, he ordered the slaughter of all the children of Bethlehem and its surrounding environs, up to the age of two years.

The slaughter took place suddenly, so that the families could not run away with their babies. And the mourning mothers saw their young children slaughtered in their very arms. The Christian Church rightly declared these massacred children Saints, because they died at an innocent age and were in a way the first martyrs of Christianity. They may not have been baptised in water, but they were baptised in the same blessed blood of their martyrdom.

The katholikon of the Monastery was consecrated by His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on the 17 November 2007.

There are currently a total of five nuns in the Monastery. Next to the katholikon is a cemetery exclusively for infants who died prematurely. There is also a playground for children. The Feast Day of the Monastery is on 29 December every year.