This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

5th February, St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

St. Agatha, virgin and martyr (Collect), was born in Sicily of noble parentage, but she estimated that for her the highest nobility would be to belong to Jesus, whom she took as her Spouse (Gospel). Endowed with remarkable beauty, she had to resist the solicitations of the governor Quintianus, who, unable to attain his end by persuasion, had recourse to violence. Her breast was torn by his order, but was healed on the following night, by the apostle St. Peter, who appeared to her in her prison (Communion). Then the body of the saint was rolled on pieces of broken pottery and on burning coals, and when she was brought back to her cell, she expired while praying. This happened at Catana in 251, during the persecution of the emperor Decius. God almighty, by granting the victory of martyrdom to a feeble woman (Collect), wisbed to show that He alone is our Redeemer, for it is with this "end in view that He chooses what is weak in tbe world to confound with their nothingness those who trust in their own strength" (Epistle).

On several occasions the virginal veil which covered the tomb of St. Agatha held up the torrents of burning lava rushing down from Etna and threatening to ruin the town. God thus honoured the resistance that her very pure soul had shown to all the assaults of passion. Her name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (second list). Her feast was already celebrated at Rome in tbe sixth century. Tbe church of St. Agatha in Rome was made a Stational church by Pius XI in 1934 (Third Tuesday in Lent).

Let us invoke St. Agatha to preserve our homes from fire and to extinguish, through the spirit of penitence, the impure flames that consume our bodies and our souls.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore beatae Agathae Virginis et Martyris: de cujus passione gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honour of blessed Agatha, virgin and  martyr; at whose passion the  Angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. * My  heart hath uttered a good  word: I speak my words to the King.
(Psalm 44:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui inter cétera poténtiae tuae mirácula étiam in sexu frágili victóriam martýrii contulísti: concéde propítius; ut, qui beátae Agathae Vírginis et Mártyris tuae natalítia cólimus, per ejus ad te exémpla gradiámur.
O God, who among other miracles of Thy power, hast granted even to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the festival of blessed Agatha, Thy virgin and martyr, may walk to Thee by her example.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

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