1. And it happened afterwards that Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian, who first reigned in Greece having come from the land of Kittim, struck Darius the king of the Persians and the Medes.

2. He appointed many battles, and he took hold of all the fortifications, and he executed the kings of the earth.

3. And he passed through even to the ends of the earth. And he received the spoils of many nations. And the earth was silenced in his sight.

4. And he gathered together power, and an exceedingly strong army. And he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up.

5. And he captured the regions of nations and of sovereign leaders, and they became tributaries to him.

6. And after these things, he fell down on his bed, and he knew that he would die.

7. And he called his servants, nobles who were raised with him from his youth. And he divided his kingdom to them, while he was still alive.

8. And Alexander reigned twelve years, and then he died.

9. And his servants obtained his kingdom, each one in his place.

10. And they all put diadems on themselves after his death, and their sons after them, for many years; and evils were multiplied on the earth.

11. And there went forth from among them a sinful root, Antiochus the illustrious, the son of king Antiochus, who had been a hostage at Rome. And he reigned in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.

12. In those days, there went forth from Israel sons of iniquity, and they persuaded many, saying: “Let us go and negotiate a covenant with the Gentiles that are all around us. For since we have withdrawn from them, many evils have found us.”

13. And the word seemed good in their eyes.

14. And some of the people determined to do this, and they went to the king. And he gave them the power to act according to the justice of the Gentiles.

15. And they built a sports arena in Jerusalem, according to the laws of the Nations.

16. And they made themselves uncircumcised, and they withdrew from the holy covenant, and they were joined to the nations, and they were sold into evil-doing.

17. And the kingdom was ready in the sight of Antiochus, and he began to reign over the land of Egypt, so that he might reign over two kingdoms.

18. And he entered into Egypt with an oppressive multitude, with swift chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great abundance of ships.

19. And he appointed a war against Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, and Ptolemy was filled with dread before his face, and he fled, and many fell down wounded.

20. And he took hold of the fortified cities in the land of Egypt, and he received the spoils of the land of Egypt.

21. And Antiochus turned back, after he struck Egypt, in the one hundred and forty-third year, and he ascended against Israel.

22. And he ascended to Jerusalem, with an oppressive multitude.

23. And he entered into the sanctuary with arrogance, and he took the golden altar, and the lampstand of light, and all the vessels, and the table for the bread of the Presence, and the vessels of libation, and the vials, and the little mortars of gold, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornament, which was at the face of the temple. And he crushed them all.

24. And he took the silver and gold, and the precious vessels, and he took the hidden treasures, which he found. And having taken all these things away, he departed into his own land.

25. And he caused a massacre of men, and he was speaking with great arrogance.

26. And there was great wailing in Israel and in all of their places.

27. And the leaders and elders mourned, and the virgins and young men became weak, and the splendor of the women was changed.

28. Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and those who sat in the marriage bed mourned.

29. And the land shook on behalf of the inhabitants in it, and the entire house of Jacob was clothed with confusion.

30. And after two years of days, the king sent the prince of his tributes to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a great crowd.

31. And he spoke peaceful words to them, in deceitfulness; and they believed him.

32. And he rushed upon the city suddenly, and he struck it with a great scourging, and he destroyed many of the people of Israel.

33. And he took the spoils of the city, and he burned it with fire, and he destroyed its houses and the walls around it.

34. And they led away the women as captives, and they possessed the children and the cattle.

35. And they built up the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with strong towers, and it became a stronghold for them.

36. And they set up in that place a sinful people, wicked men, and together they grew strong in it. And they stored up weapons and provisions. And they gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem,

37. and deposited them in that place. And they became a great snare.

38. And this became a place of ambush against the sanctuary and a diabolical evil in Israel.

39. And they poured out innocent blood around the sanctuary, and they contaminated the sanctuary.

40. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them, and the city became the dwelling place of outsiders, and she became a stranger to her own offspring, and her own children abandoned her.

41. Her sanctuary was desolate, like a place of solitude, her feast days were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into disgrace, her honors into nothing.

42. Her shame was multiplied according to her glory, and her loftiness was turned into lamentation.

43. And king Antiochus wrote to all his kingdom, that all the people must be one, and that each one should relinquish his own law.

44. And all Gentiles consented, according to the word of king Antiochus.

45. And many out of Israel consented to his servitude, and they sacrificed to idols, and they polluted the Sabbath.

46. And the king sent letters, by the hand of messengers, to Jerusalem and to all the cities of Judah: that they should follow the law of the Nations of the earth,

47. and that they should prohibit holocausts and sacrifices and atonements to be made in the temple of God,

48. and that they should prohibit the celebration of the Sabbath and the solemn days.

49. And he ordered the holy places to be defiled, along with the holy people of Israel.

50. And he ordered altars to be built, and temples, and idols, and he ordered the immolation of the flesh of swine and of unclean cattle,

50. “Grant us a pledge, and let the Jews cease from assailing us and the city.”

51. and that they should leave their sons uncircumcised, and defile their souls with all that is unclean, and with abominations, so that they would forget the law and would alter all the justifications of God,

52. and that whoever would not act according to the word of king Antiochus should be put to death.

53. According to all these words, he wrote to all his kingdom. And he appointed leaders over the people, who would compel them to do these things.

54. And these ordered the cities of Judah to sacrifice.

55. And many from the people, who had abandoned the law of the Lord, were gathered together by them. And they committed evils upon the land.

56. And they drove the people of Israel into hiding and into the secret places of fugitives.

57. On the fifteenth day of the month of Kislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, king Antiochus set up the abominable idol of desolation on the altar of God, and they built altars throughout all the surrounding cities of Judah.

58. And they burned frankincense, and they sacrificed before the doors of houses and in the streets.

59. And they cut up the books of the law of God and destroyed them with fire.

60. And all those who were found with the books of the testament of the Lord, and whoever observed the law of the Lord, they butchered, according to the edict of the king.

61. By their power, they did these things to the people of Israel, as they were discovered in the cities, month after month.

62. And on the twenty-fifth day of the month, they sacrificed on that altar which was opposite the high altar.

63. And the women who circumcised their sons were butchered, according to the order of king Antiochus.

64. And they suspended the children by their necks in all their houses, and those who had circumcised them, they butchered.

65. And many of the people of Israel decided within themselves that they would not eat unclean things. And they chose to die, rather than to be defiled with unclean foods.

66. And they were not willing to infringe upon the holy law of God, and they were butchered.

67. And there was a very great wrath upon the people.

“Quanto maiores forem os dons, maior deve ser sua humildade, lembrando de que tudo lhe foi dado como empréstimo.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina