The Prayer of the Three Crowns

“One time, while apart from the others, in the silence of the night devotedly kept for prayer, the blessed Clare remained to pray. While not far away she saw Agnes at prayer, lifted from the ground in the air, crowned with three crowns by an Angel. 
The following day, constrained by obedience to the blessed Clare, she (Agnes) related what follows: 
‘First, sincerely considering the goodness and patience of God and how each day He allows himself to be offended by sinners, I meditated, grieving and sorrowful. Secondly, I meditated on the ineffable love that He brings to sinners and how for their salvation He underwent death and His most bitter passion. Thirdly, I pondered on the souls in purgatory and on their sufferings, and how of themselves they are not able in any way to obtain relief.’

From the Chronicle of the Twenty Four Generals

 
Monticello, Florence. Fresco of Saint Agnes.

Monticello, Florence. Fresco of Saint Agnes.

The First Crown

 

The Goodness of God

We behold the goodness of God and his patience.
Each day He bears our burdens.
I let myself be led to share this mystery of grief and suffering that our Lord takes on Himself.
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Scripture
O taste and see that the Lord is good,
Happy is the man who trusts in Him. Psalm 34:8

God is good, all good, supreme good;
Lord God living and true. St Francis Praises of God.

The goodness of God leads to repentance. Romans 2:4
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Some reflections
Lord, your loving goodness is continuous and unfailing
You accept me as I am
Your patience, Lord, with us, is the patience that we pass on to each other; it is like the sign of peace. We are a channel of patience and goodness to our neighbours
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Offering
I offer this prayer for myself
- How had God shown His goodness in my life, today?
- I put my failures into your goodness Lord.

Praying for another
- I pour the goodness and love God has given me into the person I pray for:
- a truly suffering love is irresistible

Interceding for the Church
- Lord, humbly, I give you the failings of the Church
In your goodness, Lord, grant her pardon and peace.

The Second Crown

 

The Love of God

We behold the indescribable love of God.
He gives this love to us as a gift.
He passed through death and suffering and rose to new life,
so that we might know the depth of His love.
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Scripture
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
that whoever should believe in Him should not perish
but should have eternal life. John 3:16
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Reflection
God’s Love is free; It is not earned and it will not disappear.
It is like a present, it has to be unwrapped and admired, but it cannot be simply laid aside; for if it is not admired it is sneered at.
It is not like a pair of shoes that do not fit you; it is made for your size!
We are the love of God made visible
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Offering
I offer this prayer for myself
- How has God loved me in my life today?
- I put my suffering into your love, O Lord.

Praying for another
- I give the person for whom I am praying to you, O Lord;
- I place that person completely in your hands.

Interceding for the Church
- I give the sufferings of the Church to God;
Lord, I beg you, heal the Church with your love.

The third crown

 

 

The Mercy of God

We ponder in our hearts on the mystery of human growth.
What we call ‘purgatory’ takes place in the last moment of time; 
it is the last stage of a lifetime of purification, change and growth

God totally loves every human being He has made and each of them is the centre of His attention; they are remembered and redeemed at every Mass that is offered. All over the world, every second somewhere, the Holy Eucharist is being offered and the dead enter into the fullness of God’s life.

The dead cannot help themselves. God in the mystery of His love invites us to help each other.

This is also true for the living: we help each other by our prayer.
In our pilgrimage on earth we are being prayed for at every moment, we make ourselves a conscious part of this great intercession.
At the end of our lives, mindful of the infinite mercy of God, we surrender ourselves trustingly into His loving arms.
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Scripture
Be faithful unto death
and I will give you the crown of life. Rev 2:10

Because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace that we have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
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Reflection
We are called to live as channels of mercy for the living and the dead.
We cannot grow nearer to God without bringing everyone else a little nearer.
We reflect the Trinity by our lives of love for God and each other.
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Offering
I offer this prayer for myself
- How has God’s mercy led me to grow in this life, today?
- Have I had a moment of purgatory?
- I put these small deaths that I have experienced today into your mercy, O Lord.

Praying for someone else
- Lord, make me a channel of your mercy
- I believe and hope for the person I pray for

Interceding for the Church
- I place the Church in your mercy:
Lord give, her new life in you.

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Prayer of the Liturgy of St Agnes of Assisi

Let us pray
Father of mercies,
St Agnes did not hesitate to suffer for love of you.
Grant that we too may be willing to share
whatever comes our way,
and always seek your will.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord .
Amen