Cleansing Fire

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St. Agatha, Pray for U.S.

January 31st, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The presumed final day of the Senate trial, delivering the so-called “impeachment verdict,” is now scheduled for next Wednesday, February 5th. The spiritual warfare, which is constantly underway, cannot help but reveal itself at various times, and perhaps this February 5th will be just one such time. Those who choose such dates may be unaware of their significance, but that doesn’t mean they lack significance. Just look at some of the dates involved in disrespectfully hammering through the Obamacare legislation, like Christmas Eve and Good Friday, to see detraction against the Holy Seasons; i.e. a ‘taking away’ from God’s domain, in legislation which provided for ever broader abortion access.

St. Agatha by Raphael Vergos (c.1500)

And, so too, may be the choice of February 5th, for a momentous reason, the Feast of St. Agatha in the current table of memorials, as well as in the traditional Roman Martyrology. Read, in the story of St. Agatha, of the bitterness and hatred toward her by the Roman official whose advances she rejected. Hell hath no fury like those who are scorned.  Agatha was born of a noble family, and is accounted as beautiful, and as having dedicated herself to God from an early age. She rejected all suitors. A Roman magistrate, Quintian, was furious that his advances were rejected, and found his revenge in forcing Agatha first to work in a brothel, and then rolling her in live coals, during which an earthquake occurred!  Finally, her torturer had her breasts cut off, and they appear in art as resting as an offering on a silver tray (sound familiar?)  St. Agatha died in 251 AD.

St. Agatha is especially venerated in the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass, and in Eucharistic Prayer #1 in the Novus Ordo. (Idea: ask you parish priest to recite the First Eucharistic Prayer at Mass next Wednesday. In many churches that prayer is not often recited at weekday Mass, and that is unfortunate as it is such a beautiful and long-standing prayer. Agatha is one of seven women (plus the Blessed Mother) mentioned in that canon:  “… Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia….”

In reading a bit more about St. Agatha, it was surprising to learn she is patron saint of people who suffer from fires (to which subject we’ll hopefully return in due course). Most likely, her affiliation in this regard relates to being tortured on the hot coals. But she is also an intercessor for those suffering from breast cancer, of nursing mothers, and of rape victims. It is hard not to notice Agatha’s Feastday being chosen for the final impeachment decision, when rage analogous to that of the Roman magistrate has been on full display in the Senate Chamber. And the symbology of the breast, representing life itself, is intrinsic to President Trump’s pro-life stance, which has so tipped the scales in opposition to him.

One could go on, but it is better to leave much to be discovered in humble meditation.

 

Prayer to St. Agatha

 

Saint Agatha, you were a virgin espoused to Christ himself, a bride of the Lord who preserved herself for Him alone. Your vow to love God above all else hardened you to endure temptation, torture, and degradation. May we be as resolute as you when any type of persecution, however mild, seeks us out.

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One Response to “St. Agatha, Pray for U.S.”

  1. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Thank you, St. Agatha, for hearing our prayers.
    Most of all, thanks be to God Almighty for His blessings and protections on our country.

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