Daily homily thoughts, 1/21

Today we remember St. Agnes, who died at age 12. Today, the Holy Father will bless two lambs in Rome. The lamb, as a symbol of purity, is one of the symbols of St. Agnes. The two lambs Pope Francis will bless will be brought to the Church of St. Agnes in Rome in two baskets, decorated in red (martyrdom) and white (purity). The lambs are blessed and then taken to the Convent of St. Cecilia, where the Sisters care for them and use their wool to weave the palliums worn by the Pope and his Archbishops. The palliums are conferred on new archbishops — those appointed as archbishops during the preceding year — on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul on 29 June. Because of St. Agnes’s association with lambs, a lamb-shaped cake would be nice today. The purity of the lamb and the association with the bishops is a reminder of the purity of heart and life we should expect from our bishops and religious leaders.