Blog Post - August 18th
S. Agapitus| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate S. Agapitus, Martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Agapitus of Palestrina
Saint Agapitus (Italian: Agapito) is venerated as a martyr saint, who died on August 18, perhaps in 274, a date that the latest editions of the Roman Martyrology say is uncertain.
According to his legend, 16-year-old Agapitus, who may have been a member of the noble Anicia family of Palestrina, was condemned to death, under the prefect Antiochus and the emperor Aurelian, for being a Christian. He was thrown to the wild animals in the local arena at Palestrina. The beasts refused to harm him, and he was beheaded.
Saint Agapitus is mentioned in the ancient martyrologies, including the Martyrologium Hieronymianum of Saint Jerome, the Fulda Martyrology. On account of the doubtful historicity of the legend of his martyrdom, some details of which were related in earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology, editions from the end of the 20th century onward give only: "In Palestrina, Lazio, Saint Agapitus, martyr." Around the 5th century, Pope Felix III built a basilica in his honour on the supposed site of his martyrdom. His relics were kept in the basilica, and a cemetery grew around it. At some uncertain date, his relics were transferred to the present cathedral of Palestrina. Some of them were transferred to Besançon.
Saint Agapitus is honoured in the Tridentine Calendar by a commemoration added to the Mass and canonical hours in the liturgy of the day within the Octave of the Assumption. Pope Pius XII abolished all octaves apart from those of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, including that of the Assumption. Accordingly, in the General Roman Calendar of 1960 the celebration of Saint Agapitus appears as a commemoration in the ordinary weekday Mass.
St. Agapitus was but 15 years old, when he was apprehended by the tyrant Aurelian, on account of being a Christian. As he unflinchingly proclaimed his belief in Christ, he was whipped with scourges and then cast into a dungeon, without any food, that he might thus be forced to forsake Christianity. When Antiochus, the prefect, found him, at the end of five days, more determined than before, he ordered a live coal to be put upon his head. The brave youth stood immovably under this torture, and praising God, said: "A head, which would wear an eternal crown in Heaven, must not hesitate to wear suffering and pain upon earth. Wounds and burns make my head the more worthy to be crowned with eternal glory."
Antiochus, greatly provoked, ordered them to whip the holy youth till his body became one great wound, after which they hung him by the feet over a fire, hoping to suffocate him. But they failed; for, after a long silence, he addressed the prefect saying: "Behold, Antiochus, the people will say that all thy ingenuity, all thy wit, ends in smoke." Enraged at this remark, the tyrant had him again cruelly whipped and ordered boiling water to be poured into the open wounds. After this, they knocked all his teeth out and broke his jaws with blows. God punished the tyrant for his cruelty; He caused him to fall from his seat and break his neck. Aurelian, hearing of this, ordered the martyr to be thrown to the wild beasts, but as they refused to touch him, he was finally beheaded. Thus ended the glorious martyrdom of the holy youth, Agapitus, in the year 275.
"A head which would wear an eternal crown in heaven, must not hesitate to wear pain and suffering on earth." Thus spoke St. Agapitus, and it means, that "he who would rejoice in heaven, must be willing to suffer on earth." The Apostles, the friends of our Lord, and other Saints walked in this path. Christ Himself went to heaven by no other way than the way of the cross. "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts, xiv.) How can you seriously hope to save your soul if you will not suffer? Shall God prepare for you a special path, strewn with roses? Ah! do not believe this. We must suffer, if we would enter the kingdom of heaven, if we would become partakers of eternal joys.
Jesus has suffered for all of us, and he suffers in all of us. He is the reason why redemption and glory are destined to rise up out of our own suffering. We simply need to adhere to him in faith, hope, and love.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
S. Gregory the Great expressed himself: Spiritual books are like the mirror which God places before us in order that we may see ourselves in them and hence correct our faults and adorn ourselves with every virtue.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 230: The Contradiction of the Cross
We should never tire of pondering the wounds of Christ. Each and every wound He received was unjustified and caused by the sins of others. His perfect hands and feet, His brow and back and His Sacred Heart should have been treated with the utmost respect, adoration and care. But they weren’t. Instead, they were treated with great malice and abuse. From a worldly point of view, this is tragic. But from the Divine perspective, each and every wound, be it from the scourging, thorns, nails or spear, opened up springs of grace flowing in abundance. This effect is only possible as a result of the Mercy of God. Think of each and every wound our Lord endured as an underground spring or the freshest water, gushing forth from the earth to provide nourishment for all. From the streams that flow on account of these springs of Mercy, we are invited to drink our fill so as to be refreshed and satiated by grace (See Diary #1190).
Ponder, this day, the very wounds of Jesus. Try to see them and to understand the pain that He endured. As you do this, see also beyond the fleshly scourge and trauma caused by the brutality of His persecutors. Ponder the spring of Mercy that is opened with each wound. Become aware of the streams of grace running forth from these wounds and allow yourself to taste of the refreshment that they provide. Mercy has come forth from the sufferings of Christ. Now He desires to flood you with Mercy and to pour forth Mercy from the wounds that you also endure.
Lord, I thank You for Your infinite power and for doing the unthinkable. You allowed Yourself to be beaten and scourged and produced from this malice the springs of new life. May I bathe in these waters, dear Lord, and may I also allow my wounds to become a source of Your grace for a world in such need. Jesus, I trust in You.