Readings for the Memorial of
Saint Agatha

Virgin and Martyr
February 5
+Ca. 251

Go to the Liturgy of the Hours

MASS


From the Common of Martyrs: For a Virgin Martyr; or from the Common of Virgins: For One Virgin


COLLECT
Indulgentiam nobis, quaesumus, Domine, beata Agatha virgo et martyr imploret, quae tibi grata semper exstitit et virtute martyrii et merito castitatis.
May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with you
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM            31:3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16bc and 17
In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum.

R. (6) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors,
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.


ALLELUIA          1 Peter 4:14
Si exprobramini in nomine Christi, beati, quoniam Spiritus ei super vos requiescit.
If you are insulted in the name of Christ,
blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you.


GOSPEL          Luke 9:23-26
Jesus said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory
and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."



Liturgy of the Hours
Agatha

From the Common of Virgins, or of Martyrs, except the following:

Morning Prayer


BENEDICTUS (Canticle of Zechariah)
Antiphon: With a festal spirit as though to a wedding banquet, Agatha went to prison; in prayer she offered her bitter suffering to God.


COLLECT
May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with you
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Evening Prayer


MAGNIFICAT (Canticle of Mary)
Antiphon: Lord Jesus Christ, my beloved Master, it is you who have given me victory in the midst of torments. Call me, Lord, to undying happiness with you.


COLLECT
May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with you
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Office of Readings

From a homily on Saint Agatha by Saint Methodius of Sicily, bishop
(Analecta Bollandiana 68, 76-78)


The gift of God, the source of all goodness

My fellow Christians, our annual celebration of a martyr’s feast has brought us together. She achieved renown in the early Church for her noble victory; she is well known now as well, for she continues to triumph through her divine miracles, which occur daily and continue to bring glory to her name.

She is indeed a virgin, for she was born of the divine Word, God’s only Son, who also experienced death for our sake. John, a master of God’s word, speaks of this: "He gave the power to become children of God to everyone who received him."

The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.

Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us. For she grants us a share in her goodness.

What can give greater good than the Sovereign Good? Whom could anyone find more worthy of celebration with hymns of praise than Agatha?

Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true Good. God alone.


RESPONSORY       
But as for me, helped by the Lord,
I shall stand firm in proclaiming his praises.
  -   He has become my salvation and my consoler

In his mercy, the sinless Lord has consecrated his servant,
for she remained pure in his sight.
  -   He has become my salvation and my consoler.


COLLECT
May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with you
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



 
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