Pastoral Notes 24th January, 2016

ST AGNES, Martyr

21st January was the feast of St Agnes, martyred in 301 AD in Rome, one of a number of teenage martyrs in the history of the Church. She was buried in the catacomb now named after her in Rome and a basilica was erected there in her honour around 354 AD. Her name is close to the Latin ‘Agnus’ meaning ‘Lamb’. On her feast in Rome two white lambs are offered symbolically at the altar of her basilica, whose wool is later used to make the ‘pallia’, special scarves sent to archbishops in the West to indicate their authority in communion with the Pope in Rome. The opening prayer of the Mass on her feast specifies the God who chooses the weak to confound the strong, or the young to witness to the old!