Saturday, 26 April 2008

St Beuno's; Part Nine; St Agnes Chapel.

St Agnes Chapel.
Curtains pulled back.
Close up of St Agnes with her lamb.
First class relic of the fore-arm of St Winefried.

St Beuno's is an extensive house, with several Chapels, beautiful grounds and facilities. Right from the start of my time there, I was drawn to a darkened room, the smallest of all Chapels, the St Agnes Chapel. Every time, day or night, I visited the Chapel to spend some time there, it was busy and very dark. I think my natural nosyness got the better of me, well I an a nosey Social Worker by trade. I kept on and finally one morning, very early, it was free. I turned the lights up a little so I could see what was in the Chapel. The tabernacle was on a low covered box on the floor along with an icon of the Deisis and a lamp. The backdrop was a pair of red velvet curtains. Now, as I have already eluded, I am naturally nosey and inquisitive so I pulled back the curtains, curious as to why the Chapel was dedicated to St Agnes and I found the most beautiful white marble altar with a painting of St Agnes and a large reliquary of the fore-arm of St Winefried where the tabernacle should have been. I was somewhat saddened by this, and questioned why cover up such a major first-class relic and beautiful altar and put the tabernacle on the floor. Should Our Lord not take the best place of all, on the altar of God. Well, I pulled back the curtain and sat there for some time, gazing at the altar and relic, it is a very spiritual and special place and I started to imagine all the wonderful (Eastward facing) Masses there over the years and it rather saddened me that she is now covered up. I was so moved, I venerated the relic and covered her over again. I returned to the Chapel on the last morning of my retreat, after Spiritual Direction to say my prayers and to thank God for bringing me to such a wonderful place, for his bountiful grace, love and abundant forgiveness and to thank God for the example of St Ignatius of Loyola and for his army of men, the Jesuits. May we too imitate his zeal for the Gospels and love of Our Lord.

To see more about St Winefried, look at the following link

Let us gain courage for our own battle by honoring the martyrdom of the glorious virgin Agnes. St. Agnes, vessel of honor, flower of unfading fragrance, beloved of the choirs of Angels, you are an example to the worth of virtue and chastity.
O you who wear a Martyr's palm and a virgin's wreath, pray for us that, though unworthy of a special crown, we may have our names written in the list of Saints.
O glorious St. Agnes, you served God in humility and confidence on earth and are now in the enjoyment of His beatific Vision in heaven because you persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life.
Remember now the dangers that surround us in the vale of tears, and intercede for us in our needs and troubles.

Signed: Christopher McGuinness.