Friday, January 21, 2011

Healing soul and body


"The author of The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis lived to the age of 92. 
Of the 63 years he lived as a monk, 58 were spent as an ordained priest. 
In his Chronicle of Mount St Agnes he relates two miracles of the Holy Eucharist. 
Regarding the first of these he tells us:

One of our brethren commenced to say Holy Mass at the altar
of St Agnes.  For a long time he had been obliged to make use
of two crutches in order to go there.  After having said Mass
he found himself, through the power of Jesus Christ and
the intercession of St Agnes, so much strengthened that he
was enabled to leave his crutches behind, returning to us in
choir with a joyful heart. 

One of the brethren asked him of what he had done and
thought during Holy Mass; he replied, 'I considered the words
of the Evangelist St Luke, who himself relates of Jesus,
"And all the people sought to touch Him, for there went virtue out
of Him and he healed them all." Therefore the Most Holy Sacrament,
in union with the prayers of the saints, is able even now to heal
the sick in soul and in body." 
SOURCE: Eucharistic Miracles, Joan C Cruz

St Agnes
Virgin, Martyr
291-304 AD
FEAST DAY - January 21


Sta Agnes, ora pro nobis!


St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very beautiful, many young men wished to marry Agnes, but she would always say, "Jesus Christ is my only Spouse."

Procop, the Governor's son, became very angry when she refused him. He had tried to win her for his wife with rich gifts and promises, but the beautiful young girl kept saying, "I am already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!" In great anger, Procop accused her of being a Christian and brought her to his father, the Governor. The Governor promised Agnes wonderful gifts if she would only deny God, but Agnes refused. He tried to change her mind by putting her in chains, but her lovely face shone with joy. Next he sent her to a place of sin, but an Angel protected her. At last, she was condemned to death. Even the pagans cried to see such a young and beautiful girl going to death. Yet, Agnes was as happy as a bride on her wedding day. She did not pay attention to those who begged her to save herself. "I would offend my Spouse," she said, "if I were to try to please you. He chose me first and He shall have me!" Then she prayed and bowed her head for the death-stroke of the sword.

SOURCE: (Saints and Angels)

The lamb, as a symbol of purity, is one of the symbols of St. Agnes. In Rome on this day, the Holy Father will bless two crowned lambs, brought to the Church of St. Agnes in two baskets, decorated in red (martyrdom) and white (purity), by Trappists of the Tre Fontane Monastery. The lambs are blessed and then taken to the Convent of St. Cecilia, where the Sisters care for them and use their wool to weave the palliums worn by the Pope and his Archbishops. The palliums are conferred on new archbishops -- those appointed as archbishops during the preceding year -- on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul on 29 June. Because of St. Agnes's association with lambs, a lamb-shaped cake would be nice today. Think of using coconut for the wool...

St. Agnes, like St. Valentine, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Anthony of Padua, is invoked by single women in search of a husband -- and today is a good day to pray such a prayer. In fact, Medieval folklore says that on St. Agnes Eve, girls are often granted visions of their future husbands. Scottish girls would meet in a crop field at midnight, throw grain onto the soil, and pray:

Agnes sweet and Agnes fair,
Hither, hither, now repair;
Bonny Agnes, let me see
The lad who is to marry me.

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