Today is the Feast of St. Agnes. A beautiful young woman who lived in Third Century Rome, martyred in her youth … and her name means “lamb”. Agnus Dei …we pray in the liturgy – “Lamb of God …” The dark side of the story has to do with the tradition explaining her martyrdom. Because of her beauty she was courted by many, and because she slighted them all, even the most well-to-do, she was raped, sentenced to be burned at the stake, and eventually beheaded.
Not a happy story. One of the more interesting legends regarding this saint has to do with her public humiliation. One of her punishments was to be dragged naked through the streets and brought to a brothel. The story goes that her hair grew and covered her completely, surrounding her and enabling her to escape both humiliation and her captors.
Life has lots of dark sides. Ancient saints are not known for having had an easy time of it. But somehow, in the midst of all that is wrong, they keep the faith and bear witness to the power of love and forgiveness. Here is something to think about today …
Is there an evil you can cover with grace? Is there an injustice you can cover with a courageous witness? Is there some wrong you can right? Is there someone whose path can be made a bit smoother by your presence today? Do you have five or ten minutes to sit and ponder the mysterious blend of all that’s wrong with all that’s right?
Have a blessed Tuesday.