c. 1755; Oil on canvas,
Gemaeldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin
Virgin and Martyr
Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate the feast in honor of the blessed virgin martyr Agatha, at whose sufferings the angels rejoiced and praised the Son of God.
Ps. 44:2. My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of the blessed virgin martyr Agatha, whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You. Through Our Lord . . .
EPISTLE I Cor. 1:26-31
Brethren: For see your vocation, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble. But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise: and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. And the base things of the world and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen: and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his sight. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and justice and sanctification and redemption: That, as it is written: "He that glorieth may glory in the Lord."
GRADUAL Ps. 45:6.5
God will help her by His presence. God is within her, she shall not be disturbed.
V. The flowing stream gladdens the city of God, where the Most High has sanctified His own dwelling place.
TRACT Ps. 125:5-7
They who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
V. They went forth weeping to sow their seed.
V. But on their return they shall come with joy, carrying their sheaves.
GOSPEL Matt. 19:3-12
At that time, there came to Jesus some Pharisees tempting him, saying: "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" Who answering, said to them: "Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female?" And he said: "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." They say to him: "Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?" He saith to them: "Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery." His disciples say unto him: "If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry." Who said to them: "All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 44:15
Behind her the virgins shall be led to the king; her friends shall be brought to you.
O Lord, accept the gifts we bring You on the feast of Your blessed virgin martyr Agatha, through whose intercession we hope to be set free. Through Our Lord . . .
I call upon the living God Himself, who was pleased to heal all my wounds and restore my breast to my body.
O Lord, through the intercession of Your blessed virgin martyr Agatha may we be aided by the reception of the Blessed Sacrament and rejoice in Your everlasting protection. Through Our Lord . . .