Thursday, January 23, 2020
Commoration of St. Emerentiana
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): January 23

Today is the feastday of St. Raymond of Peñafort which includes a Commemoration of St. Emerentiana. Just a few days ago we celebrated the feast of the Virgin-Martyr St. Agnes, who has been held in high regard since ancient times, and whose name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. St. Emerentiana is the foster-sister of St. Agnes, who was stoned to death by a pagan mob while she was praying at the young martyr's tomb.

The following is taken from the Roman Martyrology: "At Rome, the holy virgin and martyr, St. Emerentiana. Being yet a catechumen, she was stoned to death by the heathens while praying at the tomb of St. Agnes, her foster sister."

Dom Gueranger writes the following devotional account in his Liturgical Year:
Three days have scarcely passed since the martyrdom of St Agnes, when the Liturgy, so jealous of every tradition, invites us to visit the Martyr's tomb. There we shall find a young Virgin named Emerentiana; she was the friend and foster-sister of our dear little heroine, and has come to pray and weep at the spot where lies her loved one, so soon and so cruelly taken from her. Emerentiana has not yet been regenerated in the waters of Baptism; she is going through the exercises of a Catechumen; but her heart already belongs, by faith and desire, to Jesus. 
Whilst the young girl is pouring forth her grief over the tomb of her much loved Agnes, she is surprised by the approach of some pagans; they ridicule her tears, and bid her pay no more of this sort of honour to one who was their victim. Upon this, the child, longing as she was to be with Christ, and to be clasped in the embraces of her sweet Agnes, was fired with holy courage—as well she might near such a Martyr's tomb—and turning to the barbarians, she confesses Christ Jesus, and curses the idols, and upbraids them for their vile cruelty to the innocent Saint who lay there. 
This was more than enough to rouse the savage nature of men, who were slaves to the worship of Satan; and scarcely had the child spoken, when she falls on the tomb, covered with the heavy stones thrown on her by her murderers. Baptized in her own blood, Emerentiana leaves her bleeding corpse upon the earth, and her soul flies to the bosom of God, where she is to enjoy, for ever, union with him, in the dear company of Agnes.
Collect:

O Lord, pardon our sins through the intercession of the blessed virgin martyr Emerentiana, who pleased You by her purity and her faith. Through Our Lord . . .

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