January 21

From the Prologue

As a thirteen year old girl, Agnes was thrown into the fire for the Faith of Christ and was then beheaded. She showed great miracle-working power during life and after death. Agnes suffered during the reign of Diocletian in the year 305 A.D.


The spaciousness of the sea broke out on all sides;

The earth as a trunk of the celestial garden,

But as a dark trunk with golden fruit--

Thus the dark earth with a starry firmament.

The earth silently extends its invisible branches,

And on the branches, stars, golden apples,

O, what wonderful fruit from an inexpensive mud,

What the mercy of God gave to the dark earth!

And man is earth; the body of the earth,

In the firmament are his stars; those are his good deeds,

His thoughts are rainbows, and they go to the end of the world -

Invisible branches, the stars are their tips!

Fruit! Fruit, the Lord seeks from created man,

By fruit only, He judges man's life.

When death shakes the tree, may the golden apples

Of your life fall into God's hands.

Then you will be able to say, "I was not in vain -

Because of beautiful reality, I dreamed an ugly dream!"

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas