Monday Night at the Movies
Pavel Lungin, The Island, 2006
I am a God-fearing man.
“We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.” (Henry David Thoreau) Do you consider yourself richer or poorer than average?
1 Maccabees, Chapter 8, Verse 12
This verse is referring to the Romans (150 B.C.) and Judas Maccabee was impressed with the romans for, “Judas had heard of the reputation of the Romans. They were valiant fighters and acted amiably to all who took their side. They established a friendly alliance with all who applied to them. He was also told of their battles and the brave deeds that they performed against the Gaul’s.” (1 Maccabees 8:1-2) Judas sent envoys to Rome, probably before the death of Nicanor, to conclude a treaty of alliance between Rome and the Jewish nation. Without precise chronology, the pertinent data are gathered into a unified theme. The image of the Roman Republic greatly impressed the smaller Eastern peoples seeking support against their overlords, because of Roman success in war and effective aid to their allies. Numerous interventions by Rome in the politics of the Near East bear witness to its power and prestige in the second century B.C. With the increased Roman control of Palestine after 63 B.C., the Republic and later the Empire became heartily detested. The eulogy of Rome in this chapter is one of the reasons why 1 Maccabees was not preserved by the Palestinian Jews of the century that followed.
Fall of the Roman Republic
In 133 BC, Rome was a democracy. Little more than a hundred years later it was governed by an emperor. This imperial system has become, for us, a by-word for autocracy and the arbitrary exercise of power. At the end of the second century BC the Roman people was sovereign. True, rich aristocrats dominated politics. In order to become one of the annually elected 'magistrates' (who in Rome were concerned with all aspects of government, not merely the law) a man had to be very rich. Even the system of voting was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy. Yet ultimate power lay with the Roman people. Mass assemblies elected the magistrates, made the laws and took major state decisions. Rome prided itself on being a 'free republic' and centuries later was the political model for the founding fathers of the United States. The system was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy. By 14 AD, when the first emperor Augustus died, popular elections had all but disappeared. Power was located not in the old republican assembly place of the forum, but in the imperial palace. The assumption was that Augustus's heirs would inherit his rule over the Roman world - and so they did. This was nothing short of a revolution, brought about through a century of constant civil strife, and sometimes open warfare. This ended when Augustus - 'Octavian' as he was then called - finally defeated his last remaining rivals Mark Antony and Cleopatra in 31 BC and established himself on the throne.
It is believed that St. Marcellus was born in Arzas of Galicia. A brave pagan, he entered the military, hoping to gain a large fortune. He married a young lady named Nona and they were blessed with twelve children. Saint Marcellus was a valorous soldier and was promoted to the charge of centurion; he had no thought for any advancement except the sort pertaining to his military life when he heard the fervent preaching of a holy bishop of the church of Leon. He was converted with his entire family to the Christian religion. All of them except his wife would soon give their blood in honor of their Faith.
The birthday of Emperor Maximian Herculeus was celebrated in the year 298 with extraordinary feasting and solemn rites. Marcellus, as a centurion of the army, a captain in the legion of Trajan then posted in Mauritania or Spain, in order not to defile himself in these impious sacrifices, left his company, throwing down his cincture and his arms and declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He was at once committed to prison. When the festival was over, he was brought before a judge, and having reiterated his faith, was sent under a strong guard to a prefect, Aurelian Agricolaus. This Roman officer passed upon him a sentence of death by the sword. Marcellus was immediately led to execution and beheaded on the 30th of October of the year 298. Cassian, the secretary or notary of the court, refused to record the sentence pronounced against the martyr, because of its injustice. He was immediately taken to prison and was beheaded in his turn on the 3rd of December.
The children of Saint Marcellus imitated his constancy, and all lost their lives for the defense of the Gospel; three of the boys were hanged and then decapitated at Leon. Their pious mother bought back their bodies for money and buried them secretly; they were later transferred to a church built in their honor in the city of Leon.
Patronage: conscientious objectors; city of León, Spain; Province of León, Spain
Highlights and Things To Do:
- Read more about St. Marcellus:
- St. Marcellus' relics were later brought to and enshrined at the Church of San Marcelo in León, Spain (dating from the 10th century), and he became a patron saint of the city. The Plaza de San Marcelo in this city is named for him.
The Spirits of Darkness
The ethereal we live in is filled with the angels of God but not all of them are seeking our good. There are some spirits that are not filled with the light of God; just as there are some men which are not. Angels are no more impeccable than men. They are free as men to choose and like men underwent a trial. Every trial must be essentially costly or painful. God submitted to the angels the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God; made man for their adoration. At this revelation Lucifer known as the angel of light from the highest choir of angels a Seraph rebelled, “I protest is my throne to be lowered?” At the same instance one of the lesser Archangels, cried out, “Who is like God?” Who can refuse to believe and to adore that which He proposes, “I believe and I adore.” Pride brought the fall of the angels. The door of penance, through the merits of the Precious Blood, is open to men during the whole time of their life, while the corrupt angels found themselves immediately after their fall in the state in which sinful men will find themselves immediately after their death, facing the truth of their own trials. This thought should increase our devotion to the Precious Blood which is ever ready to cleanse us from our sins, especially in the Sacrament of Penance, and restore us to the friendship of God which is denied to the angels of darkness.
Therefore, let our personal battle cry be that of St. Michael, the archangel, “I believe, and I adore!”
The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO-THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
Article 5 THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK
1499 "By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ."
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.