Happy Chanukah to my Jewish friends. We Catholics love the Maccabees as symbols of the Church Militant. They are saints and martyrs, honoured in the calendar.
In the Church of St. Andreas in Cologne, there are stained glass windows of these men. Sadly, most of the photos cannot be reproduced here, so look these up.
Perhaps someone can tell me if the statue of Judah Maccabees is still at West Point. We have, in the States, moved so far away from our Judeo-Christian roots.
Here is a commentary and a quotation from St. Augustine on the Feast of the Maccabees, August
1st Sermon 300. (Other Fathers of the Church commented on the Maccabean martyrs as well).
Let no one think that before there was a Christian people, there was no people of God. There was not at that time of the Old Dispensation, the usage of the Christian name. Nevertheless, the Christian people existed at that time (christianus etiam ille tunc populus fuit)...These Christian peoples were born of Abraham. When you admire the Maccabbean martyrs, do not think that they were not Christian martyrs (ne...illos martyres..putetis non fuisse christianos) They were Christians (christiani fuerunt), but the name of "Christian"was divulged only later, while the deeds proper to Christians anteceded the name.