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Yesterday on the traditional Roman calendar (Aug. 1, 2021), Holy Mother Church celebrated the martyrdom of the seven brothers during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.), the tyrannical king who ruthlessly persecuted the people of God and tried to supplant the true religion and worship of God with Greek paganism.
We read in the Second Book of Machabees: “It came to pass also that seven brethren, together with their mother, were apprehended and compelled by the king [Antiochus] to eat swine’s flesh against the law [of God], for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges. But one of them, who was the eldest, said thus: What wouldst thou ask, or learn of us? We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers.” (2 Mach. 7:1-2).
As a result of their refusal to compromise, each of the seven brothers was tortured and killed one-by-one in the sight of their mother, of whom it is written: “Now the mother was to be admired above measure and worthy to be remembered by good men, who beheld her seven sons slain in the space of one day and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in God.” (2 Mach. 7:20-21).
Throughout the centuries, “the people of God” (1 Pet. 2:10) have suffered many persecutions from external enemies, resulting in millions of souls receiving the crown of martyrdom. However, as Pope Benedict XVI reminded us in 2010, while replying to a question about the Third Secret of Fatima, “the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church…” (May 11, 2010).
As Catholic Family News has been reporting for nearly 30 years, now, the Church has been infiltrated by her enemies, who have set up a sinful parallel structure within her visible confines — what Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò rightly identifies as “a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God” (Letter to President Trump, June 7, 2020). And now, we know that an integral part of the deep church’s plan is to attempt to eradicate the Traditional Latin Mass — the true and ancient rite of the Roman Church, canonized by Pope St. Pius V in 1570 — in favor of what Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Benedict XVI) once described as “a banal on-the-spot product” (referring to the New Mass of Paul VI).
In the face of such abuses of power, we must likewise resolve, with the help of God’s grace, to stand firm and refuse to compromise with those who want to supplant the true religion and worship of God with “profane novelties” (1 Tim. 6:20). Within our individual spheres of influence, we must imitate Mathathias, the father of Judas Machabeus, who stood up and exhorted the people: “Every one that hath zeal for the law and maintaineth the testament, let him follow me.” (1 Mach. 2:27).
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In the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,