The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003
St. Agnes, martyr

This is a feast special to the Precious Blood community. There are many legends and stories about Agnes. She was probably born in the early years of the fourth century. She was killed at the age of 12 during a Roman Persecution and has become, over the centuries, a symbol of the spotless lamb which was offered in sacrifice.

Agnes (from "agnus" = lamb), patroness of Christian Virtue confronted by political and social violence; represented with a martyrs palm and a lamb; the pallium, a stole woven from lamb's wool and sent from the pope to metropolitans, is blessed on her feast day. She is mentioned in the Roman Canon.

Christianity in her time had become a threat to the whole economic and social order of the times. No longer a fringe group, but one invading the upper echelons of society, the Christian community preached that now there was no distinction between jew or greek, slave or free, male or female. This tended to undermine a social order that viewed some people, including women, as property.

Agnes, because of her belief in Christ who had made her a free woman, vowed virginity. She refused the marriage proposals of eligible young men of her social class. In the year 304, when cajoling and threats failed to change her mind, she was executed according to Roman Law, probably by having a sword blade thrust through her throat. Her body was buried in the cemetery on the Via Nomentana, and some fifty years later a church was built there in her honor.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 9:24 AM link
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