Skip to comments.August 1: Feast of St. Shmouni and her 7 sons (Jewish martyrs)
Posted on 08/01/2010 12:19:33 PM PDT by NYer
Martha-Shmooni in whose name there is a Jacobite church at Peroor, Kottayam. I don't blame you if you haven’t heard the name; there is only a couple in her name in the whole of India. Funny part is this saint is actually not even Christian and is in fact the mother of zealous Maccabee martyrs
Her glorification is centered on the fact that Martha-Shmooni, in defiance watched all her 7 sons (including her youngest a baby) and her teacher St. Eleazor be tortured and cast into a fiery pit. There is an ancient church in her name in Iraq near the Kadisha valley.
Name variants in which she is referred [Shmuni, Shmouny, Salomone, Samone, Solomonis, Solomonia etc.]
The Seven Holy Maccabean Martyrs: Habim, Antonin, Guriah, Eleazar, Eusebon, Hadim (Halim) and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia and their teacher Eleazar
Commemorated on August 1
The Seven Holy Maccabean Martyrs: Habim, Antonin, Guriah, Eleazar, Eusebon, Hadim (Halim) and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia and their teacher Eleazar suffered in the year 166 before the Birth of Christ under the impious Syrian emperor Antiochos Epiphanos. Adhering to an Hellenistic cult, Antiochos Epiphanos introduced pagan customs at Jerusalem and throughout all Judea. He desecrated the Temple of the Lord, putting there in a statue of the pagan god Zeus, and forcing the Jews to worship it. Many of them then fell away from the True God. But there were also those, who were deeply sorrowed by the downfall of the people of God and who continued to believe in the coming arrival of the Saviour. A ninety year old elder the law-teacher Eleazar, was brought to trial for his adherence to the Mosaic Law, and he steadfastly underwent tortures and died at Jerusalem. Bravery was likewise shown by the disciples of Saint Eleazar the Seven Maccabean Brothers and their mother Solomonia. They were brought to trial in Antioch by the emperor Antiochos Epiphanos. They fearlessly acknowledged themselves as followers of the True God, and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. The eldest of the lads, having been first to answer the emperor in the name of all seven brothers, was given over to fierce tortures in sight of his remaining brothers and their mother. The next five brothers one after the other underwent these tortures. There remained the seventh brother, the very youngest. Antiochos suggested to Saint Solomonia to urge the lad into renunciation, so that at least this final son would remain for her. But the brave mother encouraged him also in the confession of the True God. The lad resolutely ignored the entreaty of the emperor and likewise firmly underwent the tortures, just like his older brothers.
After the death of all her seven children, Saint Solomonia, standing over their bodies, raised up her hands in prayer to God and died. The Martyrs Act of the holy Seven Maccabean Brothers inspired Judas Maccabee, and he led the revolt against Antiochos Epiphanos with the help of God gaining the victory, and then purifying the Jerusalem Temple of idols. All these events are related in the Book of Second Maccabees, which is included within the Bible. Sermons of laudation to the holy Maccabean Martyrs were offered by various fathers of the Church Sainted Cyprian of Carthage, Sainted Ambrose of Mediolanum (Milan), Sainted Gregory Nazianzus and Sainted John Chrysostomos.
“Shortly before the revolt of Judas Maccabeus (2 Maccabees 8), Antiochus IV Epiphanes arrested a mother and her seven sons, and tried to force them to eat pork. When they refused, he tortured and killed the sons one by one. The narrator mentions that the mother “was the most remarkable of all, and deserves to be remembered with special honour. She watched her seven sons die in the space of a single day, yet she bore it bravely because she put her trust in the Lord.”
Excuse my ignorance on Catholic matters, but why on earth would the Catholic church make a saint of a Jew? Especially one who did not practice your religion and had no say-so in this matter? What am I not getting?
Do you not understand that, as far as we are concerned, pre-Christian Judaism is "our religion," too?
God makes saints; we can only recognize what he has done. Someone martyred for the Jewish faith before the coming of the Messiah was martyred for the true faith as much as any Christian martyr of later times.
We have a few Jewish Saints: St. Joseph, Saints Anne & Joachim come to mind.
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