My daughter, . . . I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open.
St. Agnes, a young virgin martyred in Rome at the tender age of twelve or thirteen, is a unique and unrepeatable saint whose principled conviction, fidelity and dedication to Christ leaves men of the world, then as now, fascinated yet perplexed.
Anti-Catholic sentiment remained quite virulent in America at the time; therefore Elizabeth knew the decision to become Catholic was sure to cause alienation from friends and family—a very serious consequence, since as a widow with children she was in dire need of financial support.
The saints are models of human excellence, perfected by the life of Christ and the communication of his Spirit. They demonstrate by their lives how to really live and how to really die. They consistently point to the horizon of love which leads to the fulfillment of all human desire: eternal communion with the Holy Trinity.
“Perhaps we do not know what love is: it would not surprise me a great deal to learn this, for love consists, not in the extent of happiness, but in the firmness of our determination to try to please God in everything”— St. Teresa of Avila