Monday, January 21, 2019

Saint Agnes Day

Statue at St Agnes Parish, Arlington, Virginia
Today we celebrate one of the greatest of "God's Girls," who suffered martyrdom on this day over 1700 years ago. 

Agnes of Rome (c. year 304) chose Jesus as her only love. She put Jesus first in everything, and neither the allurements nor the violence of the powers of this world could take Him away from her.

This girl and all her sisters still bring light to the depths of darkness; they bring defenseless goodness face to face with all the weapons of evil. Century after century their stories inspire us. In the most diverse places and cultures, they give themselves with burning ardor, with great and pure devotion. 

All these loves that, to the eyes of this passing world, seem to end with early and brutal deaths: how is it anything more than a long series of unbearable tragedies?

Because the One they loved died to destroy death forever. He lives. They live in Him.

And so their love has not ended. Their love endures, through the years, and the centuries. They become our friends through the communion of saints, and sometimes they "find us" in the course of our own particular lives and engage us in profound and personal ways.

Thank you, dear Saint Agnes. You have always been a great friend to our family.

"What I longed for, I now see; what I hoped for, I now possess; in heaven I am espoused to Him whom on earth I loved with all my heart" (antiphon for Saint Agnes, January 21).