Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Saints: Agnes

All Christians are connected to each other, and we are connected to Agnes. I bring her into this series on saints as the youngest. Agnes was only twelve years of age when she suffered death for her faith at Rome in approximately 304. Although we do not know the exact manner of her death, it is believed to have happened because she stood firm in her Christian convictions.

In approximately 350 A.D. a basilica was built over the place where Agnes was buried. In the early seventh century another shrine was built to preserve her name. Because Agnes is closely associated with the Greek word hagneia for chastity and moral purity, and the Latin Agnus for lamb, Agnes is often depicted with a lamb in Christian art. On her feast day, January 21, two lambs are blessed. They are then shorn and the wool is woven into a scarf called the pallium, which the Pope gives to archbishops.

Here is our Anglican connection: In the year 601 Pope Gregory the Great sent the pallium to Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Almighty and everlasting God, you choose those whom the world deems powerless to put the powerful to shame: Grant us so to cherish the memory of your youthful martyr Agnes, that we may share her pure and steadfast faith in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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