To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. Titus 1:15
When Agnes, a 13-year-old Roman girl from a Christian family, was courted by the local governor’s son, she replied, “Jesus Christ is my only spouse.” Neither inducements nor imprisonment could convince her to renounce her faith or to worship in a pagan temple. Tradition says that as she went to be executed with a sword, her beautiful face was shining. She was buried in the cemetery on the Via Nomentana, where a church was built to honour her.
Lord Jesus, who didst enter into thy triumph by the hard and lonely way of the cross: May thy courage and steadfast loyalty, thy unswerving devotion to the Father’s will, inspire and strengthen us to tread firmly and with joy the road which love bids us to take, even if it leads through suffering, misunderstanding and darkness. We ask it for thy sake, who for the joy that was set before thee endured the cross, despising the shame, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.
Parish Prayers (no. 245)
Brief life is here our portion, brief sorrow, short lived care;
The life that knows no ending, the tearless life, is there.
O happy retribution! Short toil, eternal rest;
For mortals and for sinners, a mansion with the blest.
Bernard of Morlaix (fl. 1146)