Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – “Come to Me”

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 7:25 – 8:6Psalms 40:7-8,8-91017Mark 3:7-12 and the Memorial of Saint Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr and Saint Meinrad of Einsiedeln OSB (c 797–861) Martyr, Priest, Monk, Hermit

“A great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.” – Mark 3:7-8

REFLECTION – “God did not create man to be lost but so that he might live eternally; this intention remains unchanging … For He “wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth,” (1 Tm 2:4). It is the will of your Father in heaven, says Jesus, “that not one of these little ones be lost,” (Mt 18:14). It is also written elsewhere: “Neither will God have a soul to perish but brought back” meaning, that he that is cast off should not altogether perish, ( 2 Sm 14:14 Vulg [Douai]; cf. 2 Pt 3:9). God is true; He does not lie when He promises on oath: “As I live! I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live,” (Ez 33:11).

Can we then think, without gross sacrilege, that He might not want the salvation of all in general but only of a few? Anyone who is lost, is lost contrary to God’s will. He cries out to him every day: “Turn, turn from your evil ways! Why should you die, O house of Israel?” (Ex 33:11). And again, He protests: “Why do these people rebel with obstinate insistence? They set their faces harder than stone and refuse to return,” (Jr 8:5; 5:3).The grace of Christ is, therefore, always available to us. Since He desires that all men should be saved, He calls to all without exception: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest,” (Mt 11:28). – St John Cassian (c 360-435) Father, Monk, Founder of Monasteries, Disciple of St John Chrysostom Conference 13

PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant us the grace to see clearly by the light who is Light, Your only Son. Lead us in His path and send us Your Spirit. Grant us the strength to grow in holiness so that our struggle against the powers of darkness may we a victory over temptation. May the intercession of the extraordinary fortitude and love of Your holy Martyrs St Agnes and Meinrad, help us and protect us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Altagracia and Memorials of the Saints – 21 January

Our Lady of Altagracia – 21 January – Also known as: Our Lady of High Grace (Altagracia) – Our Lady of Grace – Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans – Tatica from Higuey – Virgen de la Altagracia – Virgin of Altagracia. Today is Día de la Altagracia, or Altagracia Day!
A portrait of the Virgin Mary in a Nativity scene. It is 13 inches (33 centimeters) wide by 18 inches (45 centimeters) high and is painted on cloth. It is a primitive work of the Spanish school, painted c 1500. The Spanish brothers Alfonso and Antonio Trejo, two of the first European settlers on Santo Domingo, brought the portrait to the island some time prior to 1502 and eventually donated it to the parish church at Higuey. It’s first shrine was finished in 1572 and in 1971 it was moved to its present Basilica. The image was crowned on 15 August 1922 during the pontificate of Pius XI. Due to its age, centuries of handling by the faithful and exposure to candle smoke, it was in sad shape, and was restored in 1978. On 25 January 1979 St Pope John Paul II crowned the image with a gold and silver tiara, his gift to the Virgin. It’s frame is made of gold, enamel and precious stones and was constructed by an unknown 18th century artisan.
The Dominicans see the image as exemplifying Our Lady watching over the island and the growth of Christianity there. The feast day is marked by services, all-night vigils, singing, dancing and festivals in many of the towns.
Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked her father to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo but no-one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend’s house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner. An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his cloak, gave it to the merchant and said, “This is what you are looking for.” It was the Virgin of Altagracia. They gave the old man a place to stay for the night but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again. The merchant placed the image on their mantle but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside and the family finally returned it to the church.

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)
Detailed biography of St Agnes:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-st-agnes-c-291-c-304/
AND St Ambrose Reflection:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-st-agnes-c-291-c-304-virgin-and-martyr/

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
Blessed Josefa María Inés de Benigánim OAD (1625–1696)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-blessed-josefa-maria-ines-de-beniganim-oad-1625-1696/
St John Yi Yun-on
St Lawdog
St Maccallin of Waulsort
St Meinrad of Einsiedeln OSB (c 797–861) Martyr, Priest, Monk

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: Fifteen men and four women who were martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries.
• Blessed André Duliou
• Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot
• Blessed François Duchesne
• Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière
• Blessed Françoise Mézière
• Blessed Françoise Tréhet
• Blessed Jacques André
• Blessed Jacques Burin
• Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie
• Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot
• Blessed Jeanne Veron
• Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier
• Blessed Joseph Pellé
• Blessed Julien Moulé
• Blessed Julien-François Morin
• Blessed Louis Gastineau
• Blessed Marie Lhuilier
• Blessed Pierre Thomas
• Blessed René-Louis Ambroise
The were born in French and they were martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 30 saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus

Posted in BLAISE PASCAL, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – ‘Who lives in Love …’

Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Micah 2:1-5, Psalm 10:1-4, 7-8, 14, Matthew 12:14-21

“In his name the Gentiles will hope”

Matthew 12:21

matthew 12 21 - in his name the gentiles will hope 18 july 2020

“Christ made my soul beautiful
with the jewels of grace and virtue.
I belong to Him whom the angels serve.”

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

christ-made-my-soul-st-agnes-21-jan-2018 and 18 july 2020

“If you wish to enter into life,
keep My commandments.
If you will know the truth,
believe in Me.
If you will be perfect,
sell all.
If you will be My disciple,
deny yourself.
If you will possess the blessed life,
despise this present life.
If you will be exalted in heaven,
humble yourself on earth.
If you wish to reign with Me,
carry the Cross with Me.
For only the servants of the Cross
find the life of blessedness
and of true light.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ Chapter 56

if-you-wish-to-enter-into-life-keep-my-commandments-thomas-a-kempis-2-june-2020-belonging-to-god and 18 july 2020

“I am the king’s good servant
but God’s first.”

St Thomas More (1478-1535)
Martyr

i-am-the-kings-good-servant-but-gods-first-st-thomas-more-29-jan-2019 and 18 july 2020

“God gave Himself to you:
give yourself to God.”

god gave himself - st robert southwell - 21 feb 2018

Who lives in Love, loves least to live
and long delays doth rue,
if Him he love by whom he lives,
to whom all praise is due,
Who for our love did choose to live
and was content to die,
who loved our love more than His life,
and love with life did buy.
Let us in life, yea with our life
requite His living love,
for best we live when least we live,
if Love our life remove.
Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s death,
life only him annoy,
and when he taketh leave of life
then Love begins his joys.

who-lives-in-love-st-robert-southwell-5-jan-2020 and 18 july 2020

“I do not much dread the tortures,
as I look forward to the crown.”

St Robert Southwell (1561-1595) Martyr

i-do-not-much-dread-the-tortures-st-robert-southwell-sj-21-jan-2019-on-martyrdom and 18 july 2020

“Jesus will be in agony
even to the end of the world;
we must not sleep
during that time”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
(Pensées, 553)

jesus-will-be-in-agony-even-to-the-end-of-the-world-we-must-not-sleep-during-that-time-blaise-pascal-2-june-2020 and 18 july 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?”

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – Tuesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) – Virgin Martyr

Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”

Matthew 20:28matthew 20 28 can you drink that i am going to drink 21 jan 2020

“You may stain your sword with
my blood but you will never profane
my body that I have consecrated to Christ.”

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyryou may stain your sword with my blood - st agnes - 21 jan 2020

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over,
the martyr dies and his rule begins.”

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

The Journals of Kierkegaardthe tyrant dies and his rule is over the martyr dies and his rule begins - soren kierkegaard 21 jan 2019

“Deceitful are the ephemeral pleasures
and joys of this world.
Our supreme comfort in this life, is to die to the world
that we may live with Jesus crucified.
Let others seek gold and other earthly treasures.
I already possess the immortal treasure
of holy poverty on the Cross of Jesus crucified.
The angelic virtue, growing like a pure, fragrant lily
in the hidden beauteous garden of the cloister,
adorns the forehead with heavenly tints,
for it has roots in the Cross of Jesus crucified.
A third crown completes my oblation,
it is the seal of glory,
whereby the obedient, spotless Lamb gained victory.
Obedience is the secure science
of living with Jesus crucified.
With this triple treasure,
I can hope to pass beyond
the fleeting confines of mortal man,
by living poor on this earth and rich in heaven,
united with Jesus crucified.”

Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro (1891-1927)

Priest and Martyrdeceitful-are-the-ephemeral-pleasures-and-joys-of-this-world-bl-miguel-pro-23-nov-2019 and 21 jan 2020

“One doesn’t suffer
when one suffers
for Christ.”

Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyrone-doesnt-suffer-when-one-suffers-for-christ-bl-jerzy-pray-for-us-19-oct-2019and-27-nov-2019.and 21 jan 2020jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – Yes, my brethren, let us celebrate that continual, heavenly sabbath.

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – Tuesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28, Mark 2:23-28 and the Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) – Virgin Martyr

“…so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.”...Mark 2:28

REFLECTION – “From the first, the law of the Sabbath conferred many and great benefits, for instance, it made the Jews gentle and humane towards those of their own household, it taught them God the Creator’s providence and wisdom…  hence God gave the law for the Sabbath He said…  that He would have them refrain from evil works only when he said:   “You must do no work, except for what is necessary for life” (Ex 12:16 LXX).

And in the temple, too, everything continued with more diligence than ever.   Thus even by means of the very shadow, He was secretly opening the full light of truth (cf. Col 2:17).
Did Christ then do away with so highly profitable a thing?   Far from it,  He greatly enhanced it.   For it was unnecessary… that we should learn from it, that God made all things or that we should be made kind by it, who are called to imitate God’s own love. For He says:  “Be merciful, as your heavenly Father is merciful”(Lk 6:36).  It was no longer necessary to fix a day of festival for those who are commanded to keep a feast all their life long.   For: “Let us keep the feast,” Saint Paul writes, “not with old leaven, neither with leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor 5:8)…

So now, why is any sabbath required for Christians who are always keeping the feast and whose conversation is in heaven?   Yes, my brethren, let us celebrate that continual, heavenly sabbath.”…St John Chrysostom (c 345-407) Father & Doctormark-2-28-so-the-sone-of-man-is-lord-even-of-the-sabbath-st-john-chrysostom-it-was-not-necessary-22-jan-2019

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You choose what is weak in the world to shame what is strong. Grant that, as we celebrate the martyrdom of St Agnes, we may follow her example of steadfastness and trust in faith. We pray that through her intercession, we may grow in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.ST AGNES PRAY 20 jan 2020

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Altagracia and Memorials of the Saints – 21 January

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)
Detailed biography of St Agnes:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-st-agnes-c-291-c-304/

AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-st-agnes-c-291-c-304-virgin-and-martyr/

Our Lady of Altagracia – 21 January – 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.
A portrait of the Virgin Mary in a Nativity scene.   It is 13 inches (33 centimeters) wide by 18 inches (45 centimeters) high and is painted on cloth.   It is a primitive work of the Spanish school, painted c 1500.   The Spanish brothers Alfonso and Antonio Trejo, two of the first European settlers on Santo Domingo, brought the portrait to the island some time prior to 1502 and eventually donated it to the parish church at Higuey.   It’s first shrine was finished in 1572 and in 1971 it was moved to its present Basilica.   The image was crowned on 15 August 1922 during the pontificate of Pius XI.   Due to its age, centuries of handling by the faithful and exposure to candle smoke, it was in sad shape, and was restored in 1978.   On 25 January 1979 St Pope John Paul II crowned the image with a gold and silver tiara, his gift to the Virgin.   It’s frame is made of gold, enamel and precious stones and was constructed by an unknown 18th century artisan.
The Dominicans see the image as exemplifying Our Lady watching over the island and the growth of Christianity there.   The feast day is marked by services, all-night vigils, singing, dancing and festivals in many of the towns.
Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked her father to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo but no-one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend’s house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner.   An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his cloak, gave it to the merchant and said, “This is what you are looking for.”   It was the Virgin of Altagracia.   They gave the old man a place to stay for the night but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again.   The merchant placed the image on their mantle but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside and the family finally returned it to the church.virgen-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
Blessed Josefa María Inés de Benigánim OAD (1625–1696)
St John Yi Yun-on
St Lawdog
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: Fifteen men and four women who were martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries.
• Blessed André Duliou
• Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot
• Blessed François Duchesne
• Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière
• Blessed Françoise Mézière
• Blessed Françoise Tréhet
• Blessed Jacques André
• Blessed Jacques Burin
• Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie
• Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot
• Blessed Jeanne Veron
• Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier
• Blessed Joseph Pellé
• Blessed Julien Moulé
• Blessed Julien-François Morin
• Blessed Louis Gastineau
• Blessed Marie Lhuilier
• Blessed Pierre Thomas
• Blessed René-Louis Ambroise
The were born in French and they were martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 30 saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Burning Babe

Thought for the Day – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time –  and The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Seeing as it is the Memorial of St Agnes and we are thinking about martyrdom, I have included the post below, which is an excerpt from my post on St Robert Southwell’s Memorial – 21 February.    It is talk by Servant of God, Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000) (a hero!).   If you wish to read the whole post, it is here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/saint-of-the-day-21-february-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595-martyr/

“There are two books, prose writings, that Robert Southwell wrote that are worth reading.   They are of course written in 16th century English but, powerful, written to encourage his fellow Catholics to remain firm in their faith.   The one is called ‘Mary Magdalene’s Funeral Tears’.   And the other one is called ‘Epistle of Comfort‘.   We would probably call it a letter of encouragement.   

His poetry – we don’t know exactly when he began to write but it must have been very young because he wrote a great deal of which we have the record and by now the English speaking world knows Robert Southwell.   His two outstanding poems are ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘The Virgin Mary to Christ On The Cross.’”

The Burning Babe, by St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Martyr

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.burning babe excerpt - st robert southwell - mem 21 feb - 21 jan 2019 on martyrdom mem of st agnes

St Agnes, Pray for Us!bernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-e2809csaint-agnese2809d-pray-for-us

St Robert Southwell, Pray for Us!st robert southwell - pray for us - 21 feb 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARTYRS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Speaking of:   Martyrdom

“For me to live
is Christ
and to die,
is gain.”

St Paul – Philippians 1:21for me to live is christ and to die is gain st paul phil 1 21 - 21 jan 2019 martyrdom - no 2

“Christ made my soul beautiful
with the jewels of grace and virtue.
I belong to Him whom the angels serve.”

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyrchrist-made-my-soul-st-agnes-21-jan-2018.jpg

“She is too young to know of death,
yet is ready to face it.”she is too young - st ambrose on st agnes - 21 jan 2019.jpg

“One victim but a twin martyrdom,
to modesty and religion.
Agnes preserved her virginity
and gained a martyr’s crown. “

From an essay ‘On Virgins’ by

Saint Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Churchone victim but a twin martyrdom - st ambrose on st agnes - no 2 - 21 jan 2019.jpg

“…As we are under great obligations to Jesus,
for His Passion endured for our love,
so also are we under great obligations to Mary,
for the martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered,
for our salvation, in the death of her Son”.

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Churchas-we-are-under-great-st-bonaventure-on-the-sorrowful-mother-the-third-word-28-march-2018.jpg

“Nothing can happen to me
that God doesn’t want.
And all that He wants,
no matter how bad
it may appear to us,
is really for the best.”

St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyrnothing can happen to me - st thomas more - 16 march 2018.jpg

“I do not much dread the tortures,
as I look forward to the crown.”

St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595) Martyri do not much dread the tortures st robert southwell sj 21 jan 2019 on martyrdom.jpg

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over,
the martyr dies and his rule begins.”

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
The Journals of Kierkegaardthe tyrant dies and his rule is over the martyr dies and his rule begins - soren kierkegaard 21 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 January – St Agnes (c 291- c 304), Virgin and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 21 January – St Agnes (c 291- c 304), Virgin and MartyrBORGOGNONE_Ambrogio_St_Agnes.jpg

“A new kind of martyrdom!” exclaimed St Ambrose (340-397) , 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:

“Today is the birthday of a virgin, let us imitate her purity.   It is the birthday of a martyr,let us offer ourselves in sacrifice.   It is the birthday of Saint Agnes, who is said to have suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve.   The cruelty that did not spare her youth shows all the more clearly the power of faith in finding one so young to bear it witness.

There was little or no room in that small body for a wound.   Though she could scarcely receive the blow, she could rise superior to it.   Girls of her age cannot bear even their parents’ frowns and, pricked by a needle, weep as for a serious wound.   Yet she shows no fear of the blood-stained hands of her executioners.   She stands undaunted by heavy, clanking chains.   She offers her whole body to be put to the sword by fierce soldiers.   She is too young to know of death, yet is ready to face it.   Dragged against her will to the altars, she stretches out her hands to the Lord in the midst of the flames, making the triumphant sign of Christ the victor on the altars of sacrilege.   She puts her neck and hands in iron chains, but no chain can hold fast her tiny limbs.

A new kind of martyrdom!   Too young to be punished, yet old enough for a martyr’s crown; unfitted for the contest, yet effortless in victory, she shows herself a master in valour despite the handicap of youth.   As a bride she would not be hastening to join her husband with the same joy she shows as a virgin on her way to punishment, crowned not with flowers but with holiness of life, adorned not with braided hair but with Christ himself.francisco_de_zurbarán_-_santa_inês

In the midst of tears, she sheds no tears herself.   The crowds marvel at her recklessness in throwing away her life untasted, as if she had already lived life to the full.   All are amazed that one not yet of legal age can give her testimony to God.   So she succeeds in convincing others of her testimony about God, though her testimony in human affairs could not yet be accepted.   What is beyond the power of nature, they argue, must come from its creator.

What menaces there were from the executioner, to frighten her;  what promises made, to win her over;  what influential people desired her in marriage!   She answered: “To hope that any other will please me does wrong to my Spouse.   I will be His who first chose me for Himself. Executioner, why do you delay?   If eyes that I do not want can desire this body, then let it perish.”   She stood still, she prayed, she offered her neck.

You could see fear in the eyes of the executioner, as if he were the one condemned, his right hand trembled, his face grew pale as he saw the girl’s peril, while she had no fear for herself.   One victim, but a twin martyrdom, to modesty and to religion – Agnes preserved her virginity and gained a martyr’s crown.”

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. snip martyrdom st agnes.JPG

Over the centuries the little virgin martyr became one of the most popular saints in Christian history.Agnes_Miracle-of_TINTORETTO.jpg

St Agnes’s death was “a new kind of martyrdom!”   She taught us adults the meaning of valour 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.saint-agnes-of-rome-08

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

One of the most beloved of female saints, Saint Agnes is renowned for her virginity and for keeping her faith under torture.   A girl of only 12 or 13 at the time of her death, Saint Agnes is one of eight female saints commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass (the First Eucharistic Prayer).

As Pope John Paul II said to the young people, they should not wait until they are older to become saints.   For the World Youth Day, the Holy Father proposed nine “patron saints” — nine Saints and Blesseds who died at a very young age, like St Thérèse of Lisieux and Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, who died at the age of 24.   One of these nine patrons is St Agnes, who died around 304 at the age of around 13.   She declared that she would never accept any spouse except Jesus Christ.

“I do not think that the world has radically changed since the time that Agnes lived her short life in the world, some nineteen centuries ago.   It is always the same strong and greedy world that we know today.   The same world with three heads, which the martyrs of the first three centuries of Christianity had to face, still hinders the road to Heaven in our twentieth century:  pride, impurity and the thirst for power stand armed against the Kingdom of Christ,

“Times are bad.”   We, Catholics, are living in a time of paganism.   Our governments and society are about as pagan as the governments and society in the times of paganism in Rome.   Many do not adore the true God anymore; they rather adore at the altars of Venus, or of Moloch, or of some other false deity of the human passions, just like the Romans did.” (Bishop William Adrian of Nashville 1970)

St Agnes’ life, heroism and death inspire us to be pure also.   Her name means pure in Greek and lamb in Latin.  She is a symbol that holiness does not depend on length of years, experience, or human effort.   It is a gift God offers to all.

St Agnes pray for us!bernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-e2809csaint-agnese2809d-pray-for-us

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in consolation too. If we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in his great consolation.”…2 Corinthians 1:3-5

REFLECTION – “Today is the birthday of a virgin; let us imitate her purity. It is the birthday of a martyr; let us offer ourselves in sacrifice. It is the birthday of Saint Agnes, who is said to have suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve. There was little or no room in that small body for a wound. Yet she shows no fear of the blood-stained hands of her executioners. She offers her whole body to be put to the sword by fierce soldiers. She is too young to know of death, yet is ready to face it. Dragged against her will to the altars, she stretches out her hands to the Lord int he midst of the flames, making the triumphant sign of Christ the victor on the altars of sacrilege. She puts her neck and hands in iron chains but no chain can hold fast her tiny limbs. In the midst of tears, she sheds no tears herself. She stood still, she prayed, she offered her neck. You could see fear in the eyes of the executioner, as if he were the one condemned. His right hand trembled, his face grew pale as he saw the girl’s peril, while she had no fear for herself. One victim but a twin martyrdom, to modesty and religion; Agnes preserved her virginity and gained a martyr’s crown. – from an essay On Virgins by Saint Ambrose of Milan (340-397) Doctor of the Churchone victim but a twin martyrdom - st ambrose on st agnes - 21 jan 2018

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You choose what is weak in the world to shame what is strong. Grant that, as we celebrate the martyrdom of St Agnes, we may follow her example of steadfastness and trust in faith. We pray that through her intercession, we may grow in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amenst agnes pray for us - 21 jan 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 January

Thought for the Day – 21 January

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.

St Agnes, Pray for us!

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st-agnes-pray

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 January

One Minute Reflection – 21 January

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!

john-14-9

quote-st-john-of-the-cross-21-janbernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-saint-agnes-jpg-pray-for-us

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 21 January

Our Morning Offering – 21 January

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.

(Traditional)

morning-prayer-st-agnes

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 January – St Agnes of Rome

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.”

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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.

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Jacopo Tintoritto – The Miracle of St Agnes

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.

Francisco de Zurbarán460px-francisco_de_zurbaran_-_santa_ines