Saturday, February 5, 2022

Saint Agatha: “Possess All That I Am — You Alone!”

“Jesus Christ, Lord of all things! You see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am — you alone!”

Centuries of devotion to Saint Agatha of Catania attribute these words to the heroic fourth century virgin and martyr. Catania on the coast of Sicily was long part of the Greco-Byzantine world; thus Saint Agatha is much loved to this very day by the Eastern churches. She is also one of the martyrs mentioned in the Roman Canon (the ancient Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman Rite).

Through the centuries, in every place and time, in every culture, from men and women of every social status, words like these have been spoken and people have strived to be faithful to them: “Jesus, I give you everything.” Who is this man, Jesus, that people give him themselves, entrust their whole selves to him? Who is this man that people die for him, and live for him?