Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
St. Agnes (c. 291–304 A.D.) was born to a noble Roman family. She was a beautiful young woman of twelve or thirteen years of age when many suitors desired her hand in marriage. Instead of marrying, St. Agnes committed herself to a life of consecrated virginity as a spouse of Christ. She was then denounced to the authorities as a Christian during the persecutions of Roman Emperor Diocletian. She was condemned to be dragged naked through the streets into a brothel to be sexually abused. She miraculously escaped from this predicament with her virginity preserved, and was then condemned to be burned at the stake. Again, by a miracle, her persecutors were unable to carry out her sentence. Finally, they put her to death by beheading. Of all the virgin martyrs, St. Agnes is held in the first place by the Church. She is one of the seven women, besides the Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. St. Agnes' name means 'chaste' and she is the patroness of girls, chastity, engaged couples, virgins, rape victims, and the Girl Scouts. Her feast day is January 21st.
The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. After the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, the angel Gabriel appeared to St. Joseph and told him that the Child’s name should be called Jesus, meaning “God Saves.” According to Jewish law, on the 8th day after his birth a male child was to be circumcised, receive his name, and become a full member of God’s covenant people. According to the old Roman liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus was celebrated on January 1st, eight days after Christmas, the same day that He was given His sacred name. Currently we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mother of God on January 1st and honor the Holy Name of Jesus on January 3rd. For Catholics, Jesus’ sacred name is the object of a special devotion symbolized by the monogram “IHS,” (sometimes called a Christogram), which is the first three letters of the Greek spelling of His name.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.