Having posted on today as the Feast of the Seven Holy Machabees, I notice that Zephyrinus has today as the Feast of St. Peter ad vincula. A quick look at the LMS Ordo shows today as Our Lady's Saturday, with a commemoration of the Holy Machabees, and the Novus Ordo calendar has today as the Feast of St. Alphosus Liguori (which is kept tomorrow in the Usus Antiquior). This is a classic example of the effect of revisions to the Liturgical Calendar resulting in different Feasts being celebrated depending on which year's Missal and Breviary you are using. It would seem that Zephy has gone for the traditional, pre-1962 calendar, and I have gone for the '62, as this was the version of the Missal that I have had to had while blogging for the last few weeks (hence, Zephy has also included some Vigils and Octaves which I had missed).
To take advantage of the prayers and assistance of as many Saints as possible, therefore:
May Our Blessed Lady, St. Peter, the Seven Holy Machabees, St. Alphonsus and all the Saints pray for us.
Icon depicting the Seven Holy Machabees in the company of Our Blessed Lord and of Our Lady
The Seven Holy Machabees occupy an interesting position in the Church Triumphant, having suffered martyrdom some 150 years before the birth of Our Lord, and therefore join various Old Testament prophets and patriarchs as effectively pre-Christian Saints, presumably among the first to enter Heaven when Jesus completed His work of redemption. They were righteous Jews who were put to death under Antiochus Epiphanos for refusing to worship the pagan gods whose cult had been imposed on Jerusalem, even to the point of erecting a statue of Zeus in the Jewish Temple.
It would be apt to ask their prayers for peace in the Holy Land, and the wider Middle East at this time, and, recalling how they in a sense represent part of the continuity from Old Testament Judaism to Christianity, ask their care and protection for our Jewish brethren at a time when anti-Semitism is apparently again on the rise in the UK.