St. Agnes

Feastday: January 21

Patron of the Children of Mary

Death: 304

St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very beautiful, many young men wished to marry Agnes, but she would always say, “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.”

Procop, the Governor’s son, became very angry when she refused him. He had tried to win her for his wife with rich gifts and promises, but the beautiful young girl kept saying, “I am already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!” In great anger, Procop accused her of being a Christian and brought her to his father, the Governor. The Governor promised Agnes wonderful gifts if she would only deny God, but Agnes refused. He tried to change her mindby putting her in chains, but her lovely face shone with joy. Next he sent her to a place of sin, but an Angelprotected her. At last, she was condemned to death. Even the pagans cried to see such a young and beautiful girl going to death. Yet, Agnes was as happy as a bride on her wedding day. She did not pay attention to those who begged her to save herself. “I would offend my Spouse,” she said, “if I were to try to please you. He chose me first and He shall have me!” Then she prayed and bowed her head for the death-stroke of the sword.

catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=106

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FINDING YOU…

In one of the recent FB postings that appeared in the Home section of my FB webpage, and some of you might have seen it too, it says that “Most handsome/beautiful person, their name always starts at letter A, C, J, K, L, M, P, R, & S – Readers Digest.”

I think it was just a joke. If it were indeed, it was cleverly crafted though because it certainly elicited many amused responses. Actually, I myself double-checked it if “N” was there, but to my dismay…OH, SORRY NA LANG… However, I did notice that letter “A” was there and thus the name “Agnes” easily qualifies. Incidentally and to my pleasant surprise, all the Agneses that I know are indeed beautiful!

But the most beautiful among them was this 13 year-old Agnes. And this is how St. Ambrose described her: “She…was gentle and wise, a child in years, but mature in mind…. She was beautiful in countenance and more beautiful in faith. “

Agnes, whose feast falls today, was a young girl who was so in loved with God that she was willing to die for her. Her childhood religious upbringing must have been extraordinarily well so much so that she was able to reach such heights of holiness at so young and tender an age. Her parents must have been great believers themselves, too.

I am reminded of a story of a six-year old girl who wrote a letter to God: “To God, How did you get invented?” Her father, sent her letter to various church leaders. And one of the answers was this: Dear little girl: “Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this:

Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very, very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected….” (adapted from +Archbishop Rowan Williams’ story).

Lord, create in me that great sense of wonder. When you said that “‘The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath” you were somehow inviting me to make use of the Sabbath rest to discover you in my life. In this busy world, may I indeed find time to encounter you in silence as well as in the beauty of your creation. May all parents be able to instill in their children this sense of wonder too. For in finding you, we’d be able to face the world with confidence and strength. Amen.

Have a wonder-filled day, FBffs! God bless…

See Today’s Readings:

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