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And today we celebrate...

Sunday, January 21

Saint Agnes

She met her martyrdom cheerfully

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Virgin and Martyr (d. 304)

Her life

+ Agnes—whose name means “lamb”—suffered martyrdom during the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian.

+ According to ancient and reliable traditions, she was around 12 years of age when she died and she is one of the most celebrated Roman martyrs. Reflecting on her death, Saint Ambrose wrote, “she went to the place of execution, more cheerfully than others go to their wedding.”

+ Agnes was buried on the Via Nomentana and the Emperor Constantine built a basilica in her honor over her tomb. Her feast has been celebrated by the Church since around the year 350 and her name is included in the Roman Canon (the “First Eucharistic Prayer”).

Spiritual bonus

January 21 marks the anniversary of the death of Venerable Angeline McCrory, the founderess of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. An immigrant from Ireland, Mother Angeline dedicated her life to serving the elderly and poor in New York until her death in 1984. She was declared “Venerable” in 2012.

Quote

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.”—Saint Ambrose of Milan

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God,
who choose what is weak in the world to confound the strong,
mercifully grant,
that we, who celebrate the heavenly birthday of your Martyr Saint Agnes,
may follow her constancy in the faith.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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