Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Occurring Scripture for the Hour of Matins

Our Lady of the Rosary

Fourth Week of October

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Lesson i
Here begins the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 1:1-6

    To the brethren the Jews that are throughout Egypt, the brethren, the Jews that are in Jerusalem, and in the land of Judea, send health, and good peace.  May God be gracious to you, and remember his covenant that he made with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, his faithful servants:  And give you all a heart to worship him, and to do his will with a great heart, and a willing mind. May he open your heart in his law, and in his commandments, and send you peace.  May he hear your prayers, and be reconciled unto you, and never forsake you in the evil time.  And now here we are praying for you.

Lesson ii
II Machabees 1:7-17

    When Demetrius reigned, in the year one hundred and sixty-nine, we Jews wrote to you, in the trouble, and violence, that came upon us in those years, after Jason withdrew himself from the holy land, and from the kingdom.  They burnt the gate, and shed innocent blood: then we prayed to the Lord, and were heard, and we offered sacrifices, and fine flour, and lighted the lamps, and set forth the loaves.  And now celebrate  the days of Scenopegia in the month of Casleu.  In the year one hundred and eighty-eight, the people who are at Jerusalem, and in Judea, and the senate, and Judas, to Aristobolus, the preceptor of king Ptolemee, who is of the stock of the anointed priests, and to the Jews that are in Egypt, health and welfare.  Having been delivered by God out of great dangers, we give him great thanks, forasmuch as we have been in war with such a king.  For he made numbers of men swarm out of Persia that have fought against us, and the holy city.  For when the leader himself was in Persia, and with him a very great army, he fell in the temple of Nanea, being deceived by the counsel of the priests of Nanea.  For Antiochus, with his friends, came to the place as though he would marry her, and that he might receive great sums of money under the title of a dowry.  And when the priests of Nanea had set it forth, and he with a small company had entered into the compass of the temple, they shut the temple,  When Antiochus had come in: and opening a secret entrance of the temple, they cast stones and slew the leader, and them that were with him, and hewed them in pieces, and cutting off their heads they threw them forth.  Blessed be God in all things, who hath delivered up the wicked.

Lesson iii
II Machabees 1:18-22

    Therefore whereas we purpose to keep the purification of the temple on the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu, we thought it necessary to signify it to you: that you also may keep the day of Scenopegia, and the day of the fire, that was given when Nehemias offered sacrifice, after the temple and the altar was built.  For when our fathers were led into Persia, the priests that then were worshippers of God took privately the fire from the altar, and hid it in a valley where there was a deep pit without water, and there they kept it safe, so that the place was unknown to all men.  But when many years had passed, and it pleased God that Nehemias should be sent by the king of Persia, he sent some of the posterity of those priests that had hid it, to seek for the fire: and as they told us, they found no fire, but thick water.  Then he bade them draw it up, and bring it to him: and the priest Nehemias commanded the sacrifices that were laid on, to be sprinkled with the same water, both the wood, and the things that were laid upon it.  And when this was done, and the time came that the sun shone out, which before was in a cloud, there was a great fire kindled, so that all wondered.


Lesson iv
Of Saint John Chrysostom
On Psalm 43

    “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what Thou hast done in their time of old.” The Prophet speaks thus in the Psalm, yet not in his own person, but in the person of the Maccabees, relating and foretelling what events were to happen at the time. For such are the Prophets: they outrun all times, past, present, and future. But in order that our discussion of the subject may be more intelligible, we must first state who were these Maccabees, and what they suffered, and what they did. For when Antiochus, surnamed Epiphanes, had invaded Judaea, and laid everything waste, and had forced many who then dwelt there to fall away from the laws of their fathers, the Maccabees remained unsullied by these temptations.

Lesson v

    And when a serious war broke out, and they could do nothing to help themselves, they hid themselves, as also in aftertimes the Apostles did. For they did not always rush openly into the midst of dangers, but sometimes fled, withdrawing thus to hide. However, after one such short respite, they were like eager animals leaping out of their caves and coming forth from their lairs, and they thereupon resolved for the future, not to win safety for themselves only, but for others, whomsoever they could. And going through all that city and country, they gathered together as many as they found who were still healthy and steadfast; and even many who were weak, and had been corrupted, they persuaded to return to the Law of their fathers.

Lesson vi

    For they told them that God is merciful and gracious, and that He has never deprived men of that salvation which is obtained by penitence. And, so saying, they raised a levy of the most valiant men. For they fought not for their wives, their children and servants, or because of the ruin and captivity of their fatherland, but for the Law, and the religion of their fathers. Now their leader was God. Therefore, when they arrayed their battle line, and put their lives in jeopardy, they overthrew their adversaries because they trusted not in arms, but considered that the just cause of their war was in itself a good armor.  Moreover, when they went forth to the conflict, they uttered no bombast, nor sang battle songs, as some do; nor did they call together musicians, as is done in other armies; but they invoked the help of the Most High God, that He might be with them, and aid them, and strengthen their hand, because that war which they waged was for His glory.


Lesson i
A reading from the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 2:1-3

    Now it is found in the descriptions of Jeremias the prophet, that he commanded them that went into captivity, to take the fire, as it had been signified, and how he gave charge to them that were carried away into captivity.  And how he gave them the law that they should not forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, seeing the idols of gold, and silver, and the ornaments of them.  And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that they would not remove the law from their heart.

Lesson ii
II Machabees 2:4-6

    It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went up, and saw the inheritance of God.  And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.  Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could not find it.

Lesson iii
II Machabees 2:7-9

    And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: "The place shall be unknown, till God gathers together the congregation of the people, and receives them to mercy.  And then the Lord will show these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also showed to Moses, and he showed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.  For he treated wisdom in a magnificent manner: and like a wise man, he offered the sacrifice of the dedication, and of the finishing of the temple."


Lesson i
A reading from the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 3:1-4

    Therefore when the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the laws as yet were very well kept, because of the godliness of Onias the high priest, and the hatred his soul had of evil,  It came to pass that even the kings themselves, and the princes esteemed the place worthy of the highest honour, and glorified the temple with very great gifts:  So that Seleucus king of Asia allowed out of his revenues all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices.  But one Simon of the tribe of Benjamin, who was appointed overseer of the temple, strove in opposition to the high priest, to bring about some unjust thing in the city.


Lesson ii
II Machabees 3:5-8

    And when he could not overcome Onias he went to Apollonius the son of Tharseas, who at that time was governor of Celesyria and Phenicia:  And told him, that the treasury in Jerusalem was full of immense sums of money, and the common store was infinite, which did not belong to the account of the sacrifices: and that it was possible to bring all into the king's hands.  Now when Apollonius had given the king notice concerning the money that he was told of, he called for Heliodorus, who had the charge over his affairs, and sent him with commission to bring him the foresaid money.  So Heliodorus forthwith began his journey, under color of visiting the cities of Celesyria and Phenicia, but indeed to fulfill the king's purpose.

Lesson iii
II Machabees 3:9-12

    And when he was come to Jerusalem, and had been courteously received in the city by the high priest, he told him what information had been given concerning the money: and declared the cause for which he was come: and asked if these things were so indeed.  Then the high priest told him that these were sums deposited, and provisions for the subsistence of the widows and the fatherless. And that some part of that which wicked Simon had given intelligence of, belonged to Hircanus son of Tobias, a man of great dignity: and that the whole was four hundred talents of silver, and two hundred of gold:  But that to deceive them who had trusted to the place and temple which is honored throughout the whole world, for the reverence and holiness of it, was a thing which could not by any means be done.


Lesson i
A reading from the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 3:23-25

    But Heliodorus executed that which he had resolved on, himself being present in the same place with his guard about the treasury.  But the spirit of the almighty God gave a great evidence of his presence, so that all that had presumed to obey him, falling down by the power of God, were struck with fainting and dread.  For there appeared to them a horse with a terrible rider upon him, adorned with a very rich covering: and he ran fiercely and struck Heliodorus with his fore feet, and he that sat upon him seemed to have armor of gold.

Lesson ii
II Machabees 3:26-29

    Moreover there appeared two other young men beautiful and strong, bright and glorious, and in comely apparel: who stood by him, on either side, and scourged him without ceasing with many stripes. And Heliodorus suddenly fell to the ground, and they took him up covered with great darkness, and having put him into a litter they carried him out.  So he that came with many servants, and all his guard into the aforesaid treasury, was carried out, no one being able to help him, the manifest power of God being known.  And he indeed by the power of God lay speechless, and without any hope of recovery.

Lesson iii
II Machabees 3:30-34

    But they praised the Lord because He had glorified His place: and the temple, that a little before was full of fear and trouble, when the almighty Lord appeared, was filled with joy and gladness.  Then some of the friends of Heliodorus forthwith begged of Onias, that he would call upon the most High to grant him his life, who was ready to give up the ghost.  So the high priest considering that the king might perhaps suspect that some mischief had been done to Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice of health for the recovery of the man.  And when the high priest was praying, the same young men in the same clothing stood by Heliodorus, and said to him: "Give thanks to Onias the priest: because for his sake the Lord has granted you life.  And you having been scourged by God, declare unto all men the great works and the power of God." And having spoken thus, they appeared no more.



Lesson i
A reading from the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 4:1-5

    But Simon, of whom we spoke before, and of his country, spoke ill of Onias, as though he had incited Heliodorus to do these things, and had been the promoter of evils:  And he presumed to call him a traitor to the kingdom, who provided for the city, and defended his nation, and was zealous for the law of God.  But when the enmities proceeded so far, that murders also were committed by some of Simon's friends: Onias considering the danger of this contention, and that Apollonius, who was the governor of Celesyria and Phenicia, was outrageous, which increased the malice of Simon, went to the king, not to be an accuser of his countrymen, but with a view to the common good of all the people.

Lesson ii
II Machabees 4:6-9

    For he saw that, except the king took care, it was impossible that matters should be settled in peace, or that Simon would cease from his folly.  But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, who was called the Illustrious, had taken possession of the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias ambitiously sought the high priesthood:  And went to the king, promising him three hundred and sixty talents of silver, and out of other revenues fourscore talents.  Besides this he promised also a hundred and fifty more, if he might have license to set him up a place for exercise, and a place for youth, and to call those who were at Jerusalem, "Antiochians."

Lesson iii
II Machabees 4:10-11

    Which when the king had granted, and he had gotten the rule into his hands, forthwith he began to bring over his countrymen to the fashion of the heathens.  And abolishing those things, which had been decreed of special favor by the kings in behalf of the Jews, by the means of John the father of that Eupolemus, who went ambassador to Rome to make amity and alliance, he annulled the lawful ordinances of the citizens, and brought in fashions that were perverse.


Lesson i
A reading from the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 5:1-4

    At the same time Antiochus prepared for a second journey into Egypt.  And it came to pass that through the whole city of Jerusalem for the space of forty days there were seen horsemen running in the air, in gilded raiment, and armed with spears, like bands of soldiers. And horses set in order by ranks, running one against another, with the shakings of shields, and a multitude of men in helmets, with drawn swords, and casting of darts, and glittering of golden armor, and of harnesses of all sorts.  Wherefore all men prayed that these prodigies might turn to good.

Lesson ii
II Machabees 5:5-7

    Now when there was gone forth a false rumor, as though Antiochus had been dead, Jason taking with him no fewer than a thousand men, suddenly assaulted the city: and though the citizens ran together to the wall, the city at length was taken, and Menelaus fled into the castle.  But Jason slew his countrymen without mercy, not considering that prosperity against one's own kindred is a very great evil, thinking they had been enemies, and not citizens, whom he conquered.  Yet he did not get the principality, but received confusion at the end, for the reward of his treachery, and fled again into the country of the Ammonites.

Lesson iii
II Machabees 5:8-10

    At the last having been shut up by Aretas the king of the Arabians, in order for his destruction, flying from city to city, hated by all men, as a foresaker of the laws, and execrable, as an enemy of his country and countrymen, he was thrust out into Egypt:  And he who had driven many out of their country, perished in a strange land, going to Lacedemon, as if for kindred sake he should have refuge there:  But he that had cast out many unburied, was himself cast forth both unlamented and unburied, neither having foreign burial, nor being partaker of the sepulcher of his fathers.



Lesson i
A reading from the Second Book of Machabees
II Machabees 6:1-4

    But not long after the king sent a certain old man of Antioch, to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers and of God:  And to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that in Gazarim of Jupiter Hospitalis, according as they were that inhabited the place.  And very bad was this invasion of evils and grievous to all.  For the temple was full of the riot and reveling of the Gentiles: and of men lying with lewd women. And women thrust themselves of their accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not lawful.

Lesson ii
II Machabees 6:5-10

    `The altar also was filled with unlawful things, which were forbidden by the laws.  And neither were the Sabbaths kept, nor the solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly profess himself to be a Jew.  But they were led by bitter constraint on the king's birthday to the sacrifices: and when the feast of Bacchus was kept, they were compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honour of Bacchus.  And there went out a decree into the neighboring cities of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also should act in like manner against the Jews, to oblige them to sacrifice:  And whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways of the Gentiles, should be put to death: then was misery to be seen.  For two women were accused to have circumcised their children: whom, when they had openly led about through the city with the infants hanging at their breasts, they threw down headlong from the walls.

Lesson iii
II Machabees 6:11-17

    And others that had met together in caves that were near, and were keeping the Sabbath day privately, being discovered by Philip, were burnt with fire, because they made it a matter of conscience not to help themselves with their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.  Now I beseech those that shall read this book, that they be not shocked at these calamities, but that they consider the things that happened, not as being for the destruction, but for the correction of our nation.  For it is a token of great goodness when sinners are not suffered to go on in their ways for a long time, but are presently punished.  For, not as with other nations (whom the Lord patiently expects, that when the day of judgment shall come, He may punish them in the fullness of their sins:)  Does He also deal with us, so as to suffer our sins to come to their height, and then take vengeance on us.  And therefore He never withdraws His mercy from us: but though He chastise His people with adversity, He forsakes them not.  But let this suffice in a few words for a warning to the readers. And now we must come to the narration.


If the third lesson is to be taken from the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin or from a simplex feast of a Saint,
Lessons ii and  iii above are concatenated.



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