August 18, 2020: ST. AGAPITUS OF PALESTRINA
August 18, 2020: COMMEMORATION OF ST. AGAPITUS (OF PALESTRINA), MARTYR
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.”
(St. James, i. 12)
May thy Church rejoice, O God, under the protection of Agapetus thy Martyr, and, by the assistance of his prayers, increase in devotion, and be secured against all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Palestrina, the ancient Preneste, sends a representative to Mary's court to-day, in the person of its valiant and gentle martyr, Agapitus. By his youth and his fidelity, he reminds us of that other gracious athlete, the acolyth Tarcisius, whose victory, gained on the 15th August, is eclipsed by the glory of Mary's queenly triumph. During the persecution of Valerian, and just before the combats of Sixtus and Laurence, Tarcisius, carrying the Body of our Lord, was met by some pagans, who tried to force him to show them what he had; but, pressing the heavenly treasure to his heart, he suffered himself to be crushed beneath their blows rather than “deliver up to mad dogs the members of the Lord.” Agapitus, at fifteen years of age, suffered cruel tortures under Aurelian. Though so young, he may have seen the disgraceful end of Valerian; while the new edict, which enabled him to follow Tarcisius to Mary's feet, had scarcely been promulgated throughout the empire, when Aurelian, in his turn, was cast down by Christ, from whom alone kings and emperors hold their crowns.
Taken from: The Liturgical Year - Time after Pentecost, Vol. IV, Dublin, Edition 1901; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume II, 1806.
St. Agapitus, pray for us.