Judas Maccabaeus became the great Jewish hero.

Saturday, 11/25/17

Alexander the Great, died in 322 B.C , after winning over all the land between Egypt and India. Then, ten years later, in  312, its General Seleucus , took over all the Middle East, building a capitol for himself, a hundred miles north of Jerusalem, calling it Antioch, and founding his own dynasty.

Antiochus the Great, the sixth of that dynasty, ruled from 222 to 187 when his forces were surrounded by the Romans. The Romans laid down cruel terms for him and his sons to escape with their lives. Each year they would need to send Rome an immense sum of gold; and Rome would hold the sons of Antiocus  as hostages, insuring the payment of the yearly gold sum.

To acquire the gold, Antiochus became a temple robber. At last, in despair he handed the kingdom over to his son Antiochus the Second. whom Rome held to the same rules. To save the lives of his sons who had become  hostages in Rome, he would need to scrape up the gold each year,

In 178 BC. Antiochus the Second  swooped down on Egypt, getting his hands on the gold; but Rome, protecting Egypt, made him drop the gold.there. .

With no other way, Antiochus the Second robbed Jerusalem's temple. Everyone in the Middle East recalled how Alexander had great reverence for the temple, and they condemned Antiochus for violating it.

To justify what he had done, Antiochus, calling  the Hebrew Religion fit only for slaves, put a statue of Zeus on the temple's altar.

Going along with that , he sent priests of the Greek Religion around to every village, demanding all Jews pay worship to the gods of Greece. Most people complied, but a Jew named Mattathias  slew the king's messenger, and he and his five sons led the nation in a revolt. The third son of Mattathias, was Judas Maccbeus.

For the rest of the story come to the 720  Mass Saturday.

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