Thank you, Saint Agnes!
Prague: “We have gathered in the Prague cathedral, a place that symbolizes continuity and victorious ideas of our history, to thank for great gifts that we received twenty-five years ago,” said Cardinal Dominik Duka, archbishop of Prague, in his opening speech. “We have to think about the values we have seen in November 1989 but that are vanishing from us now,” he also said and continued: “We cannot fall into any kind of anonymous ‘us’ and ‘them’, but each of us has to examine his own conscience.”
Listening to Cardinal Duka’s speech were the faithful from all parts of the country, Czech and Moravian bishops, other Church representatives, Czech president Miloš Zeman, representatives of the civil authorities and non-Catholic churches, family of the late president Václav Havel, and many people who took active part in the November 1989 events.
Cardinal Parolin, main celebrant of the mass, underlined in his homily that canonization of Agnes of Bohemia became a part of the Czech struggle for freedom and one of the symbols of the fall of the communist regime. He then recalled the legacy of St. Agnes and her charitable work. “In following her example, the Catholic Church wants to contribute, in her unique way, to the development and spiritual as well as moral growth of the society and to do this with her living testimony of faith and charity,” he said and closed his homily with these words: “May God upon the intercession of Saint Agnes and all the patron saints strengthen our good resolutions, lead us to finish the good work that he has started in us, and may he bless the entire Czech nation.”
The mass was closed with a brief prayer for the nation led by Bishop Václav Malý, auxiliary of Prague and one of the main participants of the November 1989 events, together with the representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches.
(photo: Jan Štěpančík, CBC)