Allmächtiger ewiger Gott, Du erwählest Schwaches in dieser Welt, um Starkes jeder Art zu beschämen; da wir nun das Fest Deiner hl. Jungfrau und Martyrin Agnes feiern, gewähre gnädig, daß wir an uns die Macht ihrer Fürsprache bei Dir erfahren. Durch unsern Herrn Jesus Christus, Deinen Sohn, der mit Dir lebt und herrscht in der Einheit des Heiligen Geistes, Gott von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen.*
This is a virgin’s birthday; let us then follow the example of her chastity. It is a Martyr’s birthday; let us then offer sacrifices. It is the birthday of the holy Agnes; let men then be filled with wonder, little ones with hope, married women with awe, and the unmarried with emulation. But how shall I set forth the glory of her whose very name is an utterance of praise? It seemeth to me that this being, holy beyond her years, and strong beyond human nature, received the name of Agnes, not as an earthly designation, but as a revelation from God of what she was to be. For this name Agnes is from the Greek, and being interpreted, signifieth Pure. So that this saintly maiden is known by the very title of Chastity and when I have added thereto the word Martyr, I have said enough. She needeth not the praise which we could utter, but do not. None is more praiseworthy than she for whose praise all mouths are fitted. As many as name her, so many praise her, by the noble title of martyr.**
Ora pro nobis!
*Oration der heutigen Messe
**4. Lesung der Matutin (Divino Afflatu), Hl. Ambrose, Bischof von Milan, Bk. i. Chap. 2.