Author Topic: St Agnes  (Read 1346 times)

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Offline poche

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St Agnes
« on: January 21, 2014, 05:15:23 AM »
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  • Agnes is one of the most glorious saints in the calendar of the Roman Church. The greatest Church Fathers vie with one another in sounding her praise and glory. St. Jerome writes: "All nations, especially their Christian communities, praise in word and writing the life of St. Agnes. She triumphed over her tender age as well as over the merciless tyrant. To the crown of spotless innocence she added the glory of martyrdom."

    Our saint's name should be traced to the Greek hagne - the pure, rather than to the Latin agna - lamb. But the Latin derivation prevailed in the early Church. The reason may have been that eight days after her death Agnes appeared to her parents with a train of virgins, and a lamb at her side. St. Augustine knew both derivations. "Agnes", he writes, "means 'lamb' in Latin, but in Greek it denotes 'the pure one'". The Latin interpretation occasioned the yearly blessing of the St. Agnes lambs; it takes place on this day in the Church of which she is patron, and the wool is used in weaving the palliums worn by archbishops and, through privilege, by some bishops. In the church built by the Emperor Constantine over the saint's grave, Pope Gregory the Great preached a number of homilies. Reliable details concerning the life of St. Agnes are very few. The oldest material occurs in St. Ambrose's De Virginibus, parts of which are read today at Matins. The value of the later (definitely unauthentic) "Passion" of the saint is enhanced by the fact that various antiphons and responsories in the Office are derived from it.

    From such liturgical sources we may construct the following "life of St. Agnes". One day when Agnes, then thirteen years old, was returning home from school, she happened to meet Symphronius, a son of the city prefect. At once he became passionately attracted to her and tried to win her by precious gifts. Agnes repelled him, saying: "Away from me, food of death, for I have already found another lover" (r. Ant.). "With His ring my Lord Jesus Christ has betrothed me, and He has adorned me with the bridal crown" (3. Ant., Lauds). "My right hand and my neck He has encircled with precious stones, and has given me earrings with priceless pearls; He has decked me with lovely, glittering gems" (2. Ant.). "The Lord has clothed me with a robe of gold, He has adorned me with priceless jewels" (4. Ant.). "Honey and milk have I received from His mouth, and His blood has reddened my cheeks" (5. Ant.). "I love Christ, into whose chamber I shall enter, whose Mother is a virgin, whose Father knows not woman, whose music and melody are sweet to my ears. When I love Him, I remain chaste; when I touch Him, I remain pure; when I possess Him, I remain a virgin" (2. Resp.). "I am betrothed to Him whom the angels serve, whose beauty the sun and moon admire" (9. Ant.). "For Him alone I keep my troth, to Him I surrender with all my heart" (6. Ant.).

    Incensed by her rebuff, Symphronius denounced Agnes to his father, the city prefect. When he threatened her with commitment to a house of ill fame, Agnes replied: "At my side I have a protector of my body, an angel of the Lord" (2. Ant., Lauds). "When Agnes entered the house of shame, she found an angel of the Lord ready to protect her" (1. Ant., Lauds). A light enveloped her and blinded all who tried to approach. Then another judge condemned her to the stake because the pagan priests accused her of sorcery.

    Surrounded by flames she prayed with outstretched arms: "I beseech You, Father almighty, most worthy of awe and adoration. Through Your most holy Son I escaped the threats of the impious tyrant and passed through Satan's filth with feet unsullied. Behold, I now come to You, whom I have loved, whom I have sought, whom I have always desired." She gave thanks as follows: "O You, the almighty One, who must be adored, worshipped, feared - I praise You because through Your only begotten Son I have escaped the threats of wicked men and have walked through the filth of sin with feet unsullied. I extol You with my lips, and I desire You with all my heart and strength."

    After the flames died out, she continued: "I praise You, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, because by Your Son the fire around me was extinguished" (4. Ant., Lauds). And now she longed for union with Christ: "Behold, what I yearned for, I already see; what I hoped for, I already hold in embrace; with Him I am united in heaven whom on earth I loved with all my heart" (Ben. Ant.). Her wish was granted; the judge ordered her beheaded. —The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2014-01-21

    Offline Capt McQuigg

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    St Agnes
    « Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 12:03:14 AM »
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  • St Agnes died instead of renouncing one iota of the Catholic faith, and yet, just in the later part of 2013, Pope Francis publicly denied a "Catholic God".  

    We need more of St Agnes and less of Pope Francis.   :cheers:


    Offline poche

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    St Agnes
    « Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 03:12:40 AM »
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  • Today, on the liturgical memory of St. Agnes, the lambs which had been blessed in the basilica where the saint is entombed on the Via Nomentana in Rome were presented to the Pope. The wool of these lambs is used to weave the pallia for the new metropolitan archbishops.


    The pallium – a white stole adorned with six black crosses – is a liturgical vestment worn by the Pope and the metropolitan archbishops in their Churches and in those of their Provinces. The pallia are stored in a casket near the Confessio Petri and the pontiff bestows them upon the new archbishops on the Solemnity of the Saints Peter and Paul, as a sign of union with the Apostolic See.


    The nuns of the Roman convent of San Lorenzo in Panisperna raise the lambs who are offered to the Holy Father by the Canons Regular of the Lateran on the feast day of St. Agnes, martyred in the year 305 and depicted with a lamb according to the traditional iconography.

    http://www.visnews-en.blogspot.com/2014/01/presentation-of-lambs-on-feast-of-st.html

    Offline poche

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    St Agnes
    « Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 12:26:00 AM »
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  • Shortly before the blessing of the lambs yesterday in honor of the feast of St. Agnes, the parish priest of the basilica honoring the martyr explained that the tradition has been around since the 16th century.

    “Here in (in the basilica of) St. Agnes, we have known this tradition for 500 years,” Fr. Franco Bergamin explained to CNA in a Jan. 21 interview shortly before the Mass of the blessing took place.

    The priest recalled how the tradition began around the same time that the Regular Lateran Canonichesse were founded, who are a contemplative religious order belonging the Canons Regular of the Lateran Congregation of the Most Holy Saviour, who still serve in the basilica of St. Agnes today.

    On Jan. 21 of every year, the feast day of the virgin Agnes who was martyred in the year 304 under the Diocletian persecution, the lambs whose wool will be used weave the pallia of new archbishops are blessed in the Basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Walls in Rome, and then presented to the Pope.

    Elaborating on the various symbols of the pallium, a white stole adorned with six black crosses that the Pope and metropolitan archbishops wear in their churches when celebrating the Mass, Fr. Bergamin highlighted that the colors of white and red which are used carry special meaning.

    When they are carried into the basilica for the blessing, the lambs are “in two baskets,” he noted, explaining that one is “with red flowers and the other one with white flowers in order to indicate the martyrdom and the virginity of Agnes.”

    The “presence of the lamb” in most depictions of the young martyr has been seen “since the 4th century,” the priest continued, adding that as a symbol of her “birth into heaven,” every year “a lamb was placed on the tomb of St. Agnes in order to indicate” that that is where she was.

    Fr. Bergamin explained that every year the lambs which are chosen for the ceremony are donated by the Tre Fontane abbey in Rome, which is run by the Trappist Fathers of the Cistercian Order, who are cloistered contemplative monastics that follow the Rule of St. Benedict.

    After the lambs were blessed, the priest explained that they were delivered to Pope Francis at his residence in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse during 12:30pm appointment.

    During the encounter, the Pope would “welcome” the lambs “and deliver them to the sisters of Saint Cecilia in Trastevere,” which is a 5th-century church in Rome dedicated to the Saint.

    The sisters, explained the priest, “will groom” the lambs “and care for them” until the pallia are to be woven.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/blessing-of-lambs-a-500-year-old-tradition-priest-reveals/

    Offline poche

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    St Agnes
    « Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 03:09:44 AM »
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  • St. Emerentiana was a Roman virgin, the foster sister of St. Agnes who died at Rome in the third century. Already as a catechumen she was conspicuous for her faith and love of Christ. One day she boldly upbraided the idolaters for their violent attacks on the Christians. The enraged mob retaliated by pelting her with stones. She died in the Lord praying at the tomb of St. Agnes, baptized in her own blood.

    A church was built over her grave which, according to the Itineraries, was near the church erected over the place of burial of St. Agnes, and somewhat farther from the city wall. In reality Emerentiana was interred in the coemeterium majus located in this vicinity not far from the coemeterium Agnetis.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2014-01-23

    I posted this with St Agnes for two reasons;
    1st St Emeretiana was a foster sister of St Agnes. Therefore she was related to her by affinity.
    2nd because it illustrates that we do not get to Heaven by ourselves. We always take others with us.  


    Offline soulguard

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    St Agnes
    « Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 02:07:14 PM »
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  • good posts poche. :cool:

     

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