Then Mattathias went through the city shouting, “Let everyone who is zealous for the law and who stands by the covenant follow after me!” Thereupon he fled to the mountains with his sons, leaving behind in the city all their possessions. Many who sought to live according to righteousness and religious custom went out into the desert to settle there. (1 Mc 2:15-29)
We continue the heroic stories of the Books of Maccabees. Today we hear about Mattathias and his sons. The tiny Christian community in Rome was able to claim the two greatest apostles as its founders, Peter and Paul. Both were martyred in Rome. The anniversaries of the dedication of the two basilicas erected over their tombs have always been celebrated together.