Fra Angelico's "Vision of Ezechiel," 1452, showing the Throne of God's "wheel in the midst of a wheel" (Ezech. 1:16) -- a wheel of Apostles and Evangelists within a wheel of Old Testament Prophets, all gazing upon and drawing inspiration from the rays of the Light Divine, but the Apostles and Evangelists have a closer and clearer vision of the Light.
This Day, the Tenth Day of April
The prophet Ezechiel, who was put to death in Babylon by the Judge of the people of Israel, because he reproved him for worshipping idols. He was buried in the sepulcher of Sem and Arphaxad, Abraham's ancestors. To his tomb many were wont to resort for the purpose of prayer.This account of St. Ezechiel's martyrdom and burial is an extra-biblical tradition. Like many of the Roman Martyrology's other accounts of the deaths and burials of Old Testament saints, what the Martyrology says of St. Ezechiel is derived from the first century A.D. Jewish work known as The Lives of the Prophets, which in the past was erroneously attributed to the Christian Father and Doctor St. Epiphanius. The Jewish traditions concerning St. Ezechiel in The Lives of the Prophets are notably more extensive than those of most of the other prophets. We find the Roman Martyrology's legends of St. Ezechiel toward the very beginning of this work's account of the prophet's life:
He was from the district of Sarira, of the priests; and he died in the land of Chaldea, in the time of the captivity, after uttering many prophecies to those who were in Judea. He was slain by the leader of the Israelite exiles, who had been rebuked by him for his worship of idols; and they buried him in the field of Nahor, in the tomb of Shem and Arphaxad, the ancestors of Abraham. The tomb is a double cave, according to whose plan Abraham also made the tomb of Sarah in Hebron. It is called "double" because it has a winding (stairway) and there is an upper chamber hidden from the main floor, hung in the rock above the ground-level.
This prophet gave to the people a sign, that they should pay attention to the river Chebar; when its waters should fail, they were to expect "the sickle of desolation to the ends of the earth" when it should overflow, the return to Jerusalem.
While the saint was dwelling there, many kept coming to him; and on one occasion, when a throng had assembled to him, the Chaldeans feared an uprising and came upon them to destroy them. He made the water cease its flow, so that they could flee to the other side; but when the enemy ventured to pursue, they were drowned.
Through his prayer he provided for them ample sustenance in fish which came of their own accord to be caught. Many who were at the point of death he cheered with the news of life coming to them from God. When the people were being destroyed by the enemy, he went to the hostile captains and so terrified them with marvels which he wrought that they ceased. It was then that he said to the people: "Are we indeed perishing? is our hope at an end?" and by the vision of the dry bones" he persuaded them that there is hope for Israel both now and in the time to come.
While he was there he showed to the people of Israel what was being done in Jerusalem and in the temple. He himself was borne away thence, and came to Jerusalem, for a rebuke to the faithless. Also after the manner of Moses he foresaw the fashion of the temple, with its walls and its broad surroundings, as Daniel also declared that it should be built.
He pronounced judgment in Babylon on the tribes of Dan and Gad, because they dealt wickedly against the Lord, persecuting those who were keeping the law; and he wrought upon them this grievous wonder, that their children and all their cattle should be killed by serpents. He also foretold, that because of their sin Israel would not return to its land but would remain in Media, until the end of this evildoing.
One of their number was the man who slew Ezekiel, for they opposed him all the days of his life.
Vidi aquam egredientem de templo a latere dextro, alleluia; et omnes ad quos pervenit aqua ista salvi facti sunt, de dicent: alleluia, alleluia.
"I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom that water came were saved, and they shall say: alleluia, alleluia."