Feast Day: January 23
Patronage: against abdominal pains/colic
Saint Emerentiana was the milk sister of Saint Agnes for Emerentiana's mother was the nanny and wet nurse of Saint Agnes. One of the obscure saints and a Roman virgin- martyr, who lived in the 3rd century,
Emerentiana was much of the same age as St. Agnes when she suffered martyrdom. This little girl was a catechumen and was still learning about Christianity before she was even officially baptized. Martyrs, as catholic believe, are "baptized by blood".
A few days after St Agnes' death, Emerentiana she was found weeping and praying by her tomb. The pagans who were as furious as ever, attacked the little girl but Emerentiana refused to leave the place, claiming she was a Christian. Emerentiana was stoned to death by the crowd of pagans and her
body was buried alongside Agnes.
Emerentiana's relics were recovered near the Church of Saint Agnes on the Via Nomentana when it was being restored during the reign of Pope Paul V. The relics were later transfered to the Basilica of Saint Agnes. The body of Saint Agnes lies under the altar, together with that of her milk sister Saint Emerentiana.
Emerentiana is represented as a young girl who either carries stones in her lap, also with a palm/lilies in her hand, or a girl being stoned to death by a mob.
Reflections: St Agnes lived her faith by example and Emerentiana is the first fruit of her labor. Emerentiana stood up to the pagans out of love and fidelity to what Agnes believed in. These two saints bore witness to
their faith and it is through the witness of lives such as these that others will come to believe and find salvation as well.
As Christians, it is through our works that others will come to see the faith that we have in God. May others see our good works and give glory to our God.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Feast Day: January 21
Patron saint of young girls, chastity, gardeners, engaged couples and rape victims
Saint Agnes who also goes by the name of Saint Ines (c. 291 – c. 304) was a member of the Roman nobility and raised in a Christian family. At age 12 or 13 year old Agnes suffered martyrdom in the time of the persecutions of Christians during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. She has a foster sister, Emerentiana, who like her became a saint.
The Prefect Sempronius wanted Agnes to marry his son but when Agnes refused, he reported her to the authorities as being a Christian. Ines/Agnes was condemned to death but as Roman law did not permit the
execution of virgins, they planned to rape her as a sacrifice to the gods they worshiped. The authorities had the naked Agnes dragged through the streets to a brothel but her purity was miraculously preserved.
Legend has it that while walking the streets, she prayed to the Lord and this was answered by making her hair grow to cover up her body. Another legend says that the men who attempted to rape her were struck blind immediately. There was also a story about one being struck dead but when Agnes prayed for him the man was revived. Since none of them succeeded, they tried to burn St Agnes at the stake but the wood didn't burn even a slightest bit. Because of this, a frustrated lieutenant decided to take matters into his own hands and ended up beheading Agnes with a sword.
She maybe too young to know of death, yet she bravely faced it than be offered to the pagan gods and lose her virginity by rape. Being the good Christian that she was, she showed awesome virtue and gave up her life for her faith. Her virginity and heroism are renowned and has help bring an end to the persecutions.
One of Emperor Constantine's daughters built a church where Agnes was buried.
St.Agnes' martyrdom inspire us to be pure, courageous and loyal to our God. Agnes had the courage and the faith to act as boldly as she did in standing up for the teachings of Christ. She trusted the Lord no matter what. We, too, must believe and trust God and pray in humility and patience especially when we are in most need of help. Let us pray to gain that confidence to fight our own battles and to be courageous witnesses of God.