Saturday, January 21, 2012

Remembering Agnese's Feast Day

I have loved St. Agnes since I was in graduate school and I used to pray at her altar in the National Shrine, and often go to Mass at St. Agnes parish. When I lived in Rome, I found her presence to be almost palpable. She loves Rome and ordinary Romans very much.

On this day 18 years ago (hard to believe it's been that long), I went to the feast day celebration at her Basilica, and they opened the catacomb for people to freely visit the tomb. There I asked her to find me a wife, and I promised that if she did (and if the wife agreed) we would name our first daughter after her.

Two and a half years later, Eileen and I returned to Rome on our honeymoon and renewed the promise at her tomb. It was Eileen who actually who wanted the Italian name (pronounced On YAY zay). And St. Agnes continues to look after us, especially her "spiritual daughter" whom I've loved since before she was conceived. Hard to believe there was a time.

It's all so mysterious.