Many people don’t realize that Holy Church considers some Old Testament figures to be saints with their own feast days.
We don’t celebrate them at the altar, but they have their day.
Actually, if there were no other saint in the liturgical calendar taking precedence, we are told that we indeed could celebrate a saint from the Martyrology. But I digress.
In any event, today is the commemoration of the 8th c. BC St. Isaiah, the prophet of the Old Testament.
The Martyrologium Romanum has this entry for him.
1. Commemoratio sancti Isaiae, prophetae, qui, in diebus Oziae, Iotham, Achaz et Ezechiae, regum Iudae, missus est ut populo infideli et peccatori Dominum fidelem et salvatorem revelaret, ad implementum promissionis David a Deo iuratae. Apud Iudaeos sub Manasse rege martyr occubuisse traditur.
You readers can give your own polished and flawless renderings of this brief but interesting text.
There is a Jewish tradition that Isaish was ultimately sawed in two but Scripture itself is silent about his earthly end.
We also learn from the Martyrology that today is the feast, or rather “commemoration” – but let’s not be too fussy – of St. Hermas, from the New Testament, whom St. Paul greets in Romans 16. The 3rd c. Origen of Alexandria thought that he was the author of the ancient Christian word The Shepherd of Hermas.
Among others we also give honor to God today through the martyrdom, in London, of Bl. Thomas Pickering, a Benedictine monk, a simply and pious soul, who was it seems falsely implicated in a plot against Charles II. He died “ad Tyburni patibulum“.
From more modern times we also learn that today is the day that Bl. Stephan Grelewski, a priest and martyr, died in Dachau concentration camp. The Martyrology uses the dire phrase “diris tormentis extenuatus“. Brrrrr.
Many around the world today suffer at the hands of others precisely the profess Christ as their Lord and God.
Give some thought today about your state in life as it is here and now.
Think also for a little while about what you may have to do and endure if an when your time comes to be challenged to give witness to your Faith and then suffer negative consequences.
I have thought about this a lot recently. Today I was prompted again to reflect on our present problems when I received photos from a friend in England who visited a house with a priest hole at Coughton Hall built by St. Nicholas Owen.
Beneath the one hole there is another!
St. Nicholas Owen was eventually captured and then mercilessly tortured in the Tower. On 22 March 1606 his entrails burst out when he was on the rack, and he died.
You, dear reader, may not be challenged with the threat of death, but perhaps you will risk losing your job or some relationship or other worldly good.
That said, and circling back to the Prophet Isaiah, those who would persecute the Lord’s anointed, especially, will be subject to the wrath of God.