Blessed Agnès de Langeac
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On October 19 each year the Sulpicians rejoice with the Dominican Sisters of Langeac (France) in celebrating the memorial of Blessed Agnès de Jésus who was instrumental in fostering the priestly vocation of Sulpician founder, M. Jean-Jacques OLIER. (Click here for that story.)
Born on 17 November 1602 in Puy-en-Velay, France, Mother Agnès entered the newly established Dominican monastery at Langeac at the age of 21. She became Prioress only four years later. Although her life was short-lived, she had an incredibly rich spiritual life and strongly believed in promoting priestly vocations in the Church. Mother Agnès died on 19 October 1634 at the age of 31. Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Agnès on 20 November 1994, and she has become known in France as “the spiritual mother of seminaries.”
In one of her letters to Father Olier Mother Agnès wrote poignantly about the power of the cross:
“Much more love is necessary before one is favored with the cross. Ah! Grace! Ah! Inestimable favor! How I long to acquire you! Sweet Savior of our souls, make us worthy of this grace, if it pleases you. Pull us out of ourselves so that we may be all for you. O Love, our only hope, our total refuge, our complete desire, make us worthy of this cross: grant us the favor of dying on it.” (From the Sulpician Ordo, Fasc. IV.A, p. 13)
The legacy of Mother Agnès continues in the same Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine where she had lived and prayed. It now devotes its life to prayer for priests, and in particular, for Sulpicians and their ministry of initial and ongoing formation. The current prioress is Sister CHRISTIANE-DOMINIQUE, op, and the Sulpicians remain eternally grateful to all the Sisters of the monastery for their prayers and support. On this day especially, we unite our prayers with theirs in honor of their beloved sister, Agnès de Jésus. We send them our best wishes and assurance of prayers.
Collect for the day:
Gracious and all-powerful God, you bestowed on Mother Agnès de Jésus a great love of the poor and a concern for the formation of priests; through her intercession help us welcome a lively faith in Christ crucified and the desire to make Him known to all peoples. Grant this through that same Christ, Our Lord. Amen.