St. Agnes, Her Second Feast
Five days after the martyrdom of the Virgin Emerentiana, the parents of the glorious Saint Agnes visited the tomb of their child, during the night, there to weep and pray. It was the eighth day since her martyrdom. Whilst they were thinking upon the cruel death, which, though it had enriched their child with a Martyr’s palm, had deprived them of her society–Agnes suddenly appeared to them: she was encircled with a bright light, and wore a crown on her head, and was surrounded by a choir of virgins of dazzling beauty. On her right hand, there stood a beautiful white lamb, the emblem of the Divine Spouse of Agnes.
Turning towards her parents, she said to them, “Weep not over my death: for I am now in heaven, together with these virgins, living with Him, whom I loved on earth with my whole soul.”
It is to commemorate this glorious apparition, that the holy Church has instituted this Feast, which is called Saint Agnes’ Second Feast. (Sanctae Agnetis secundo.) Let us pray to this fervent spouse of the Divine Lamb, that she intercede for us with Him, and present us to Him in this life, until it be given to us to possess Him face to face in heaven.
Prayer of Petition to St. Agnes
O sweet Saint Agnes, I earnestly implore thy compassion and commend myself to thy prayers. O noble virgin, thou didst despise all earthly things and prefer the love of Christ to the glory of the world. Death was welcome to thee, and the holy angels were waiting for thy soul to convey it into the joys of Paradise, where, adorned with the martyr’s palm, thou didst arrive at the nuptials of the heavenly Spouse. I too seek Him; deign to intercede for me that He may grant me health of mind and body, restrain the temptations of the devil, extinguish the desires of the flesh, give me time for true repentance and amendment of life, grant me the remission of all my sins, together with grace to make a good end and a happy death. Amen.