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Saturday, January 21
FEAST OF AGNES, VIRGIN, MARTYR
[St. Agnes in prison]
The most vulnerable deserve the most protection
The stories of child sex abuse that have come out recently remind us in no uncertain terms that the exploitation of the youngest and most vulnerable among us is an ongoing and serious problem. Today in the church calendar we remember Saint Agnes, who died at the tender age of 13 back in the year 304 A.D. It was said that as punishment for refusing a forced marriage to the son of a Roman official, young Agnes was dragged naked through the streets of Rome to a brothel where she was raped and then executed. A horrific tale of child abuse no doubt, but one that has been repeated in some form or another through the ages. It is time for Christians to speak with one voice worldwide to denounce the abuse of children wherever and whenever it occurs.
TODAY’S READINGS: 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27; Mark 3:20-21 (316)
“Rouse your power, and come to save us.
Marking the feast of St. Agnes Pope Benedict blessed the two lambs from whose wool the pallium will be woven in the monastery of Saint Cecilia in Trastevere. The pallium are narrow white bands worn by metropolitan archbishops around their necks as a symbol of their authority and unity with the Pope. The Holy Father presents them to newly-appointed metropolitan archbishops each year on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Agnes means "lamb" in Latin. The saint of the same name was a martyr of the early 4th century, known for her consecrated virginity, who was killed for refusing to worship pagan gods.