Saint of the week
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When Christ took her to himself,
and a double crown wreathed her brow.
Though noble by birth and blessed with beauty,
her grandest riches were her deeds and her faith.
Earthly prosperity was nothing in her eyes,
but her whole heart was on the precepts of her God.
Her bravery tired out the men that tortured her
she flinched not as they lashed her limbs:
and her wounded breast reveals a dauntless heart.
Her prison was her paradise,
where the pastor Peter heals his bleeding lamb;
and thence once more she runs to suffer,
gladder and braver at every wound.
A pagan city once in flames was saved by Agatha’s prayer.
The same can check,
in Christian hearts the threatening fire of lust.
Now that thou art in heaven, clad as a bride of Christ,
intercede with him for us miserable sinners,
that he grant us so to spend thy feast,
that our celebration may draw down his grace.
Glory be to the Son, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
May the one almighty God grant that this his saint be mindful of us.
Pope Damasus (304 – 384)
The illustration above is a mosaic of Saint Agatha from the Lady Chapel of Westminster Cathedral, London. (Completed in June 1935.)
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