Posted by: fvbcdm | April 20, 2012

Feast of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano (20 April 2012)

My father was born on April 20, 1883.  Today would be his 129th birthday if he were alive. And today in our Dominican calendar is the feastday of our cloistered Dominican Sister Saint Agnes of Montepulciano who lived in Italy in the 13th and 14th centuries. We have in our Holy Rosary Church here in Houston a beautiful stained-glass window depicting her with the Infant Jesus in her arms.  The story behind the window is that once, Our Lady appeared to Agnes with her Divine Child in her arms and asked the  devout nun if she would like to hold the baby.  Of course she would!  So, in vision, Saint Agnes was privileged to cradle the Infant of Bethlehem in her own arms.  Once, years ago, the Houston newspaper was looking for a depiction of Our Lady to feature in the religion section of the paper.  They sent a photographer here and he or she saw the glowing window showing a young woman in a religious habit holding a baby.  The photographer was impressed, photographed that window, and the picture wound up in the newspaper a day or so later, to our amusement.  I hope it caused a few chuckles in heaven, too!  After all, St. Agnes would be deeply honored to be mistaken for the Mother of Jesus, and Our Lady, gracious as she is, wouldn’t mind the mistake at all.

This Sunday, we have one of several episodes in the risen life of Our Lord in which eating occurs. To prove to his disciples that he is a real, resurrected human being and not just a ghost or some sort of apparition, Our Lord asked for food.  They gave him baked fish, which he ate in their presence.  We find that in Saint Luke, chapter 24. Another food passage after the resurrection is in Saint John, chapter 21.  There we find the apostles out fishing one morning, and Our Lord on the beach making a fire and cooking bread and fish for his friends.  A beautiful and idyllic moment at just about this time of year, filled with the joy of the risen Savior.  Saint John tells us that this is the third time that Jesus is revealed to his followers after his resurrection.  Since fish occur several times in the gospels, it is not surprising that the early Christians chose a fish as a symbol of Christ himself.  The Greek word for fish is “icthos: and someone worked out that the letters of that word can be used as the initials for  the Greek words “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”  Thus we often see fish depicted in liturgical and religious imagery. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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