c. 1755; Oil on canvas,
Gemaeldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin
Virgin and Martyr
The remarkable beauty of Agatha, a Sicilian, attracted the attention of the Roman governor. She was horribly tortured for resisting his offers; but she stood firm, saying, "Jesus Christ, Lord of all things! You see my heart, You know my desires. Do you alone possess all that I am." On the day of her martyrdom in 251, she was rolled over live coals. As she was being carried back to prison she died while praying, "Lord, my Creator, receive now my soul."
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 Colossians 3: 12-17
BRETHREN, put ye on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another, even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so you also. But above all these things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection: and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, all things do ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GRADUAL Psalm 101: 16, 17
THE GENTILES shall fear Thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. V. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and He shall be seen in His majesty.
LESSER ALLELUIA - ALLELUIA, alleluia. V. Ps. 96, 1. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.
AT THAT time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came, and oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming, said to him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle? And he said to them, An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him, Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said, No: lest perhaps gathering up the cockle you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn."
OFFERTORY Psalm 117: 16, 17
THE RIGHT hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.
WE OFFER Thee, O Lord, the sacrifice of reconciliation, that Thou mayest mercifully forgive our sins and direct our wavering hearts. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Commemoration of SAINT AGATHA
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 . . .
COMMUNION LUKE 4:22
THEY ALL wondered at these things, which proceeded from the mouth of God.
WE PRAY Thee, O almighty God, that we may receive the effect of that salvation of which we have received the pledge in these mysteries. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Commemoration of SAINT AGATHA
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 . . .