Various daily acts cause our conversion and ultimately our sanctification to grow: examining our conscience and admitting our faults; undertaking works of penance and reconciliation; receiving the correction others give us with an open and humble heart; reaching out to the poor; standing up for what is right and just; accepting the suffering and persecution that come our way; desiring to better our life (see CCC1435).
LET US PRAY:
Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
Help me to live a life of ongoing conversion.
True conversion means converting my life to the
design of God, the plan He has for me right now.
Pray for me, that I may be filled with passion
for the evangelisation of all those around me,
that my life may be a beacon of the light of Christ.
May the witness of my life inspire other sinners to conversion.
May faith move me to believe that God can
and will change the things in me that seem impossible to rectify.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions ………………..
(mention your request)
I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.
St Paul Pray for us!
“Our intellect is ordinarily full of ideas, opinions and considerations suggested by self-love. This is the root of many conflicts within the soul, putting before us all sorts of reasons dictated by human prudence to justify our pretensions. People who make use of this false prudence, instead of enlightening their intellect, obscure it. They reject advice given to them and let those reasons prevail in their minds which support their own opinions, even wrong ones. Make use of the virtue of prudence because it is good but make good use of it. Employ it only rarely, with simplicity and solely for the glory of God.” (St Francis de Sales – Sermons 30; O. IX, pp. 297-298)
O blessed Francis de Sales,
who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially …………………..
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
(mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all, You desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.
St. Agnes’s death was “a new kind of martyrdom!” (St Ambrose). She taught us adults the meaning of valor while she was still a child. Agnes hurried to the place of her execution more joyfully than a bride goes to her wedding. And she was adorned not with plaited hair, but with Christ himself. Agnes is a symbol that holiness does not depend on length of years, experience, or human effort. It is a gift God offers to all.
After I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me?……….John 14:9
REFLECTION – Jesus Christ is very little known by those who claim to be His friends.
We observe them seeking in Him – not His sorrows – but their own consolation……St John of the Cross
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You. Grant me the grace to follow You in Your sorrows, accepting all the sorrows of my life for Your sake. Help me to learn from this child Martyr, Agnes, who understood so much more than I do, who joined her pain to Yours, accepting them for love of You. St Agnes, teach me and pray for us all, amen!
O Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ,
source of all virtues, lover of virgins,
most powerful conqueror of demons,
deign to cast Your eyes upon my weakness
and through the intercession of Mary
most blessed, Mother and Virgin
and of Your beloved spouse St. Agnes,
glorious virgin and martyr,
grant me the aid of Your heavenly grace,
in order that I may learn to despise all earthly things
and to love what is heavenly;
to oppose vice and to be proof against temptation;
to walk firmly in the path of virtue,
not to seek honours,
to shun pleasures,
to bewail my past offenses,
to keep far from the occasions of evil,
to keep free from bad habits,
to seek the company of the good
and persevere in holiness,
so that, by the assistance of Your grace,
I may deserve the crown of eternal life,
together with St. Agnes and all the saints,
forever and ever, in Your kingdom. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 21 January – St Agnes of Rome (c291-c304) VIRGIN and MARTYR – Patron of affianced couples, betrothed couples, bodily purity, chastity, Children of Mary, Colegio Capranica of Rome, crops, engaged couples, gardeners, Girl Scouts, girls, Manresa, Spain, rape victims, Rockville Centre, New York, diocese of, virgins
“A new kind of martyrdom!” exclaimed St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan. The assembly cheered and applauded. He was celebrating St. Agnes because she was a virgin, a martyr—and a child. She was executed at Rome in 304 during the Emperor Diocletian’s vicious persecution. Here are Ambrose’s observations on her death:
“St. Agnes is said to have suffered martyrdom at age 12. The cruelty that did not spare so young a child was hateful but the power of faith in the child was greater. Was there room for a wound in that small body? The sword could barely strike her, yet she had the inner strength to strike back. Girls of her age usually can’t even bear a parent’s angry glance. They cry at needles’ pricks as though they were wounds. Agnes, however, faced her persecutors fearlessly. When they attempted to force her to worship at the pagan altars, she stretched out her hands and made the sign of the cross over the sacrificial fires. She was not fazed by the heavy weight of the chains they wrapped around her. And she freely offered her body to the executioner’s sword.
Saint Agnes by Domenchino
The executioner used both threats and allurements to try to change her mind. He encouraged young men to beg her to marry them. But she answered, “I already have a spouse and I will not offend Him by pretending that another might please me. I will give myself only to Him who first chose me. So, executioner, what are you waiting for? Destroy this body that unwanted eyes desire.”
Agnes stood and prayed. Then she bent down her neck. The executioner trembled as though he himself had been condemned. His right hand shook and his face grew pale, but the virgin showed no fear at all.
So in one victim we have a twofold martyrdom of purity and faith, for Agnes both remained a virgin and also obtained martyrdom. Historians say that legends have embroidered the few facts we know about Agnes. But the stories are rooted in actual events and convey kernels of truth about her. These legends tell that Agnes was a beautiful and soon-to-be-marriageable young woman. Many eager young men pursued her but she rebuffed them because she had consecrated her virginity to Christ.
One spurned suitor took revenge by reporting to the authorities that Agnes was a Christian. She was brought before a judge who tried to persuade her to recant. He threatened her with fire and torture, but she did not flinch. Then he had her stripped at a brothel and urged young men to seduce her. “You may stain your sword with my blood,” she said, “but you will never profane my body that I have consecrated to Christ.” All were so stunned by her presence that only one boy tried to touch her. Legend says he was struck blind and that Agnes prayed that his sight be restored.
Exasperated and egged on by her first accuser, the governor ordered her execution. Agnes was taken to the Stadium of Domitian, where she courageously faced a nervous soldier who hacked her to death with his sword. Over the centuries the little virgin martyr became one of the most popular saints in Christian history.
St Agnes of Rome (Memorial)
Our Lady of Altagracia – Also known as: Our Lady of Grace – Our Lady of High Grace – Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans – Tatica from Higuey – Virgen de la Altagracia – Virgin of Altagracia
St Agnes of Aislinger
St Alban Bartholomew Roe
St Anastasius of Constantinople
St Aquila of Trebizond
St Brigid of Kilbride
St Candidus of Trebizond
Bl Edward Stransham
St Epiphanius of Pavia
St Eugenius of Trebizond
Bl Franciscus Bang
St Gunthildis of Biblisheim
Bl Ines de Beniganim
St John Yi Yun-on
St Maccallin of Waulsort
St Meinrad of Einsiedeln
St Nicholas Woodfen
St Patroclus of Troyes
St Publius of Malta
Bl Thomas Reynolds
St Valerian of Trebizond
St Vimin of Holywood
St Zacharias the Angelic
Blessed Martyrs of Laval – 19 beati
Martyrs of Rome – 30 saints
Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus