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Saint Agnes - She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature for the victory
Saint Agnes - She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature for the victory
Saint Agnes - She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature for the victory
 
 
 

 
 

Saint Agnes by Domenichino (1581-1641); circa 1620; Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England;
commons.wikimedia.org
 
 
She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature for the victory
From the Treatise On Virgins by Saint Ambrose, Bishop
(Lib 1, cap. 2, 5,7-9: PL 16 [edit. 1845], 189-191)


Today we celebrate the heavenly nativity of a virgin; let us imitate her integrity. Today we also celebrate a martyr; let us offer up her sacrifice. It is the celestial birthday of Saint Agnes. We know by tradition that she suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve. What stands out in her martyrdom, on the one hand, is the cruelty that knew not how to stop even before such a tender young age; on the other hand, it is the fortitude that faith infuses in a person, making a girl so very young give firm witness.

Was it that, in such a small body, there was any room for a wound? And with everything, even though in her the sword could not find where to unleash its blow, she was the one capable of conquering the sword. And this is considering that at her age girls cannot even bear the severity of their parents' stern look; and, if they distractedly pinch themselves with a needle, they start to cry as if it were a serious wound.

For her, unmoved between the bloodied hands of the executioner, unaltered when being dragged through heavy and clanking chains, she offers her whole body to the sword of the infuriated soldier, still ignorant of what death is, yet willing to suffer it; upon being dragged by force to the idolatrous altar, between the flames, she stretched to Christ her hands; and in this way, in the middle of the sacrificial bonfire, she signified with this position the triunphant standard of the victory of the Lord; they tried to fetter her neck and her hands with iron shackles, but her members were too small to remain enclosed by them.

Was this a new kind of martyrdom? She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature enough for the victory; the fight was difficult; the crown, easy. What seemed impossible for her young age was made possible by her consummated virtue. A newlywed bride would not go to the wedding bed with the happiness that this demoiselle would go to the place of torture, hurried and happy for her luck, adorning her head not with braids but with Christ Himself; crowned not with flowers, but with virtues.

All cried but her. All admired how with total generosity she delivered her life which she had not yet begun to enjoy, as if she had already lived it completely. All were amazed that she would already be a witnesss of Christ; a child that, by her age, could not yet even give testimony of herself. It was in this way that a child was capable to give faith to all things pertaining to God; a young girl that legally incapable of giving faith to human things, because the Author of nature can make it possible for natural laws to be superceded.

The executioner did everything possible to terrorize her; to attract her with flattery and praise. Many desired to marry her. But she said to them:

It would be injurious for my Spouse for me to wait to see if I like another; He has chosen me first, thus He will have me. What are you waiting for, executioner, to deliver the blow? Let the body perish that can be loved by the eyes of those who I do not love.

She stopped, prayed, and offered her nape. You should have seen how the executioner tremebled, as if it were he who was the one condemned; how his right hand trembled when he struck, how his coutenance grew pale as he saw what was to happen to the girl, while she maintained herself totally serene. In just one victum a double martyrdom took place: the one of chastity and the one of faith. She remained a virgin and obtained the glory of martyrdom.


PRAYER

Omnipotent and eternal God, who has been pleased in choosing what is weak to the eyes of the world so as to confuse those who believed themselves to be strong, grant to us who are celebrating the martyrdom of Saint Agnes the ability to imitate the heroic firmness of her faith. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit and is God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Translated from the Spanish by Jan Paul von Wendt - liturgiadelashoras.com.ar/  (Liturgies of the Hours)



 
She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature for the victory
From the Treatise On Virgins by Saint Ambrose, Bishop
(Lib 1, cap. 2, 5,7-9: PL 16 [edit. 1845], 189-191)


Today we celebrate the heavenly nativity of a virgin; let us imitate her integrity. Today we also celebrate a martyr; let us offer up her sacrifice. It is the celestial birthday of Saint Agnes. We know by tradition that she suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve. What stands out in her martyrdom, on the one hand, is the cruelty that knew not how to stop even before such a tender young age; on the other hand, it is the fortitude that faith infuses in a person, making a girl so very young give firm witness.

Was it that, in such a small body, there was any room for a wound? And with everything, even though in her the sword could not find where to unleash its blow, she was the one capable of conquering the sword. And this is considering that at her age girls cannot even bear the severity of their parents' stern look; and, if they distractedly pinch themselves with a needle, they start to cry as if it were a serious wound.

For her, unmoved between the bloodied hands of the executioner, unaltered when being dragged through heavy and clanking chains, she offers her whole body to the sword of the infuriated soldier, still ignorant of what death is, yet willing to suffer it; upon being dragged by force to the idolatrous altar, between the flames, she stretched to Christ her hands; and in this way, in the middle of the sacrificial bonfire, she signified with this position the triunphant standard of the victory of the Lord; they tried to fetter her neck and her hands with iron shackles, but her members were too small to remain enclosed by them.

Was this a new kind of martyrdom? She was not yet of age to be condemned, yet she was mature enough for the victory; the fight was difficult; the crown, easy. What seemed impossible for her young age was made possible by her consummated virtue. A newlywed bride would not go to the wedding bed with the happiness that this demoiselle would go to the place of torture, hurried and happy for her luck, adorning her head not with braids but with Christ Himself; crowned not with flowers, but with virtues.

All cried but her. All admired how with total generosity she delivered her life which she had not yet begun to enjoy, as if she had already lived it completely. All were amazed that she would already be a witnesss of Christ; a child that, by her age, could not yet even give testimony of herself. It was in this way that a child was capable to give faith to all things pertaining to God; a young girl that legally incapable of giving faith to human things, because the Author of nature can make it possible for natural laws to be superceded.

The executioner did everything possible to terrorize her; to attract her with flattery and praise. Many desired to marry her. But she said to them:

It would be injurious for my Spouse for me to wait to see if I like another; He has chosen me first, thus He will have me. What are you waiting for, executioner, to deliver the blow? Let the body perish that can be loved by the eyes of those who I do not love.

She stopped, prayed, and offered her nape. You should have seen how the executioner tremebled, as if it were he who was the one condemned; how his right hand trembled when he struck, how his coutenance grew pale as he saw what was to happen to the girl, while she maintained herself totally serene. In just one victum a double martyrdom took place: the one of chastity and the one of faith. She remained a virgin and obtained the glory of martyrdom.


PRAYER

Omnipotent and eternal God, who has been pleased in choosing what is weak to the eyes of the world so as to confuse those who believed themselves to be strong, grant to us who are celebrating the martyrdom of Saint Agnes the ability to imitate the heroic firmness of her faith. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit and is God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Translated from the Spanish by Jan Paul von Wendt - liturgiadelashoras.com.ar/  (Liturgies of the Hours)



 
 
 
 
January 21 - Feast of Saint Agnes of Rome (291-304) - From the Treatise on Virgins by Saint Ambrose (337-397), Bishop


 
 

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X
OUR FATHER

Our Father, Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Liberate us from all temptation[*]
And deliver us from all evil. Amen



[*] Liberate us is in keeping with the original Latin text.
       God usually does not "lead us" to temptation
       (unless we are tested),
       but gives us the grace to overcome and/or resist it
X
HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art though among women,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
 
Holy Mary, Mary of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and in the hour
Of our death. Amen


 
X
APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the
[work and grace of the] Holy Ghost,[*]
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into the Dead.[**]
On the third day, He rose again;
He ascended into Heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
 
I believe in the Holy Ghost,[*]
The Holy Catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins.
The resurrection of the body,
And life everlasting. Amen


[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
[**] the Dead: "inferi", the underworld or the dead in Latin.
X
GLORIA

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice
of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May then rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Thy Spirit.

(50 days indulgence to all who pray the De Profundis with V. and R.
"Requiem aeternam" (Eternal Rest) three times a day.
Pope Leo XIII, February 3, 1888)


Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all
the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant
to the souls of Thy servants the remission
of their sins, so that by our prayers
they may obtain pardon for which they long.
O Lord, who lives and reigns,
world without end. Amen

May they rest in peace. Amen

CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
PADRE NUESTRO

Padre Nuestro,
que estas en los Cielos
Santificado sea Tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu Reino;
Hágase Tu Voluntad
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros
perdonamos a los que nos ofenden,
No nos dejes caer en la tentación,
y líbranos del mal. Amén
 
CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
AVE MARÍA

Dios te salve, María,
llena eres de gracia;
El Señor es Contigo;
Bendita Tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
Y bendito es el fruto
De tu vientre, Jesús.
 
Santa María,
Madre de Dios,
Ruega por nosotros
pecadores,
Ahora y en la hora
De nuestra muerte.
Amén
 
CERRAR
CREDO

Creo en Dios, Padre Todopoderoso,
Creador del cielo y de la tierra.
Creo en Jesucristo,
Su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor,
Que fue concebido por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo,
Nació de la Santa María Virgen;
Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato,
Fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado,
Descendió a los infiernos,
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos,
Subió a los cielos
Y está sentado a la derecha de Dios,
Padre Todopoderoso.
Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar
a los vivos y a los muertos.

Creo en el Espíritu Santo,
La Santa Iglesia Católica,
La comunión de los santos,
El perdón de los pecados,
La resurrección de la carne
Y la vida eterna. Amén
 
 
CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor; Señor,
escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos
a la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?
Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia.
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

X
GLORIA

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor;
Señor, escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos a
la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?

Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia,
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

V. Dadles, Señor, a todas las almas
el descanso eterno.
R. Y haced lucir sobre ellas
vuestra eterna luz.
V. Que en paz descansen.
R. Amén.