This is an interesting day liturgically. It is the Feast of the Holy Maccabees, Old Testament Martyrs, and it is also the Feast of St. Peter in Chains associated with the Basilica of St. Peter ad vincula in Rome. The connection between the two is that the relics of the Maccabees are in a sarcophagus in the crypt of St. Peter ad vincula. Of all the relics of Old Testament figures these are probably the most important because of their weight for both Christians and Jews. It is fitting that the Basilica is one of the places most visited by Jewish visitors to Rome, because of the mighty statue of Moses by Michaelangelo, intended for the tomb of Julius II, is housed there in.

I learned a long time ago, that it is best to believe the claims that certain things are where they have for centuries said to be. However, in the case of the relics of these Old Testament figures, I have often wondered about how they got to Rome, or were even preserved.

Interesting things about this interesting feast.

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