Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saint Agnes of Rome

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.

~from a treatise "On Virgins" by Saint Ambrose, bishop, in the Roman breviary.

More HERE.
St Agnes' Eve - Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem'd taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while his prayer he saith.
~from "Eve of St. Agnes" by John Keats


Lucy said...

For me, there's something even more blessed when it comes to child martyrs...really the innocence, purity and goodness, it touches our core.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, it does, especially when thinking of the children who suffer today because of attacks on their purity.

Lucy said...

Yes, these situations should be unacceptable to all. There definitely needs to be stronger vigilance and laws...still today children are often the least protected.

Alexandra said...

St Agnes is my sister's confirmation saint; unfortunately she has left the church.

I love this poem of Keats. I think I used this last year, but I may pluck this off your post. I love the stained glass picture as well, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. :)

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you very much, Alexandra! Let's ask St. Agnes to help bring your sister back.

tubbs said...

Our beloved little Agnes has been called a proto-feminist. Stubborn and independent - she insisted on making her own big decisions about her life's direction.
January 20 is a great time for a small party or gathering of friends: good for fending off the post-holiday, midwinter blues. (It's a very cold time here in the northeast). I hope Agnes isn't offended, but I usually serve lamb!

tubbs said...

here's a little spoof on that (one of my favorite poems)by the late Cardinal Dulles, from a last year issue of First Things.