Saint Agatha; First Friday of the Month
Prayer for the Morning
Come, let us adore the Lamb of God
whom the virgins follow!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia!
Bright shall the day of Saint Agatha rise,
Virgin and martyr, for lo! from the skies,
Christ, as a lover, stooped tenderly down,
Crowning her brow with his duplicate crown.
Born unto affluence, gentle in blood,
Wealth and temptation she bravely withstood;
Earth with its vanities casting aside,
Binding her soul to her God as a bride.
Stronger of heart than the tyrant, her foe,
Patient she bowed ’neath the lash and the blow;
And by her bosom, all rent by the sword,
Proved her invincible love for the Lord.
Canticle (Zephaniah 3:14-18a)
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. (Lk 12:4)
In crying out to God, Saint Agatha found courage to face bodily torture and death. She went to her death as to her wedding banquet, trusting that Christ, the bridegroom with whom she kept faith in this life, would keep faith with her in the life to come.
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Philippians 3:8-9a, 10)
I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, to know him and the power of his resurrection and [the] sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Canticle of Zechariah
If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation. (2 Cor 1:6)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet
of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father…
Through the intercession of Saint Agatha, we pray:
R/Lord, have mercy.
For the poor and the powerless,
– that you, O Christ, may be their defense. R/
For the threatened and frightened,
– that you, O Christ, may be their protection. R/
For the convinced and the courageous,
– that you, O Christ, may be their guardian. R/
God, the Father of mercies, you strengthened Saint Agatha to bear torture and death rather than to forsake your Son, to whom her life was pledged. May she plead our cause before you, for she knew how to please you both in her consecration to virginity and in her courage in the face of martyrdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.