The Olive Tree and the Crown
As narrator takes up position
Voice off: The Olive Tree and the Crown
Narrator: Sixteen days after St Clare accepted the blessed olive branch from Bishop Guido of Assisi, on Palm Sunday, 1212, her sister, Caterina di Faverone di Offreduccio ran off to join her. It was St Francis, who, when she received the habit, gave her the name Agnes.
Who was Agnes of Assisi?
(Taped music swells out as Agnes enters and takes her place. She is wearing an Assisi veil, (no kerchief) a collar and a cloak over her habit. She sits beside a table besides on which she lays her script and, without looking at it too intently, confides her story to the audience. The narrator has her chair on a platform board placed conveniently with a lectern in front of her. They are nearer the grille than the tabernacle, and they face the extern chapel.)
Agnes: One of my earliest memories is of being taken to the olive groves of Corcorano. My father set me down to watch our old olive-gardener graft three twigs of a cultivated olive on to the stock of a wild tree. I watched the old man’s deft hands score the bark with the mark of a Tau, peel it, open and set the cutting against the raw veins of the strong root stock; binding it into place. “Do you see?” my father said. “The branch bears from another’s strength, but it bears good fruit; better fruit than if it had been planted in its own soil.”
I am that branch.
Narrator: Agnes was born in 1196. Her sister, Clare, was two years old. The great Innocent III was shortly to be elected pope. Henry IV, the son of Barbarossa, was emperor. Richard the Lionheart was the absentee king of England. Bad King John was waiting in the wings, possibly with Robin Hood and certainly with the Magna carta! The Fourth - so-called - ‘Crusade’ had just failed dismally.
The stories most told by the jongeleurs and troubadours were of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their pursuit of the Holy Grail of the Last Supper. This was a kind of poetic parable of the crusades; a sincere, even sometimes generous idea, hopelessly compromised by human sin and adultery.
It was the age of cathedrals: Chartres, Notre Dame, Ely - and the Cathedral of San Rufino in Assisi, at right angles to the enormous fortified mansion that was the home of Clare and her sister - and the best cloth in the town could be obtained from one Bernadone, one of the minores who had a son, Francesco, aged fourteen at this time, of whom no one had - as yet -heard!
Agnes: When I was born in 1196, they called me Caterina. My family fought for the Emperor. We were what people called Weiblingen or Ghibellines.
When I was three years old, and Clare, nearly six, the minores - people like Francesco’s father, turned out Conrad, the Imperial Duke of Spoleto, who ruled from the Rocca fortress above the city, and demolished the walls of his castle. Our family locked up its town fortress and went into voluntary exile in Perugia. We came home three years later.
Narrator: One of the witnesses at Clare’s canonization, Sr Pacifica, who claimed to have known the sisters most of her life, had never seen Favarone, their father. Given the known evidence, it seems that he may have embarked on the disastrous Fourth Crusade which was deflected from Jerusalem by base political motives and ended up sacking Constantinople, desecrating the basilica of Santa Sophia and installing Baldwin of Flanders as Emperor of the Greeks. This would make the early chronicles very reluctant to mention him and would have given great motive to his wife’s wonderful heroism.
Agnes: Our mother, Ortulana, set out to make the great pilgrimage to God, Angels and men. She went to the Apostles in Rome, to St Michael at Monte Gargano and to the land where God walked, to do what my father had not done, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and she took Pacifica with her - and in a time when the Ayubid Princes held undisputed sway in the Middle East, they got there safely and returned home in one piece.
Narrator: Bartholomew of Pisa said that St Clare felt great love and sympathy for Moslem women and wished to bring them the joy of the good news.
Agnes: After the Middle East, the biggest topic of the day was the Gospel. One of the most debated issues was: Did the Apostles own property? The Albigensians, the Poor Catholics, the Poor Men of Lyons and the Waldenses all claimed to be like the early Church, and held things in common. So did the Benedictines, for that matter; but they had an awful lot more to hold in common - enough to make them individually rich. And the Church owned more property, it seemed, than anyone else.
However, this chance topic of conversation became a riveting local issue when Francesco Bernadone laid his clothes at his merchant father’s feet and went off to rebuild San Damiano’s in rags. Not long afterwards, our cousin Rufino took off his armour and laid it at Uncle Monaldo’s feet. Uncle Monaldo was furious - and Uncle Monaldo’s rages were quite something. But he was a nobleman and he refused to behave as if he owned his son, as Pietro Bernadone had done. Brother Rufino was tall, strong and very gentle - and he had a stammer. But it did not prevent him from telling Brother Francesco all about Clare. He may have told him something about me, too, but not in connection with holy women coming to live at San Damiano to rebuild the Church and shed light on it by their holy way of life!
Narrator: At home the young women of the Offeduccio lived under Ortulana’s direction, almost as if they were in a monastery . They were able to speak and write Latin, and would have known the language of the Empire, Franconian. natually they spoke their own Umbrino dialect and understood the Provençal of the troubadours. They prayed the Hours and attended Mass daily. Agnes loved God - and to live with Clare has to have been an adventure in the Spirit!
Agnes: I knew Brother Francesco met with Clare privately - with Mother’s permission, and with the chaperonage of our kinswoman, Madonna Bona. But I kept out of it. Even on the night of Palm Sunday, 1212, when Benvenuta, a childhood friend from Perugia, helped Clare clear the barricades from the door in the cellars, I lay in bed upstairs with the blankets over my head and my fingers in my ears!
Mother had allowed Clare to sell her part of our inheritance - we had come of age like everyone else when we were twelve. Clare had given the money away quietly. She had sent Madonna Bona to make a pilgrimage to Rome for Holy Week and had left by the lower door - the door of death, so that neither Bona or Janni Ventura, our gate warden would become the objet of Uncle’s fury. Mother could always managed Uncle. So when it came out on Monday of Holy Week, all Uncle could do was resort.....
Narrator: - as Clare’s first biographer said -
Agnes: ....to violent force, poisonous advice and flattering promises. Even the violent force didn’t amount to much; Clare had gone to San Paulo della Abadessa, which had the right of sanctuary, and when Uncle raised his voice she calmly took hold of the altar cloth with one hand and swept her veil off with the other, revealing her shorn head.
I stayed at home.
It was the worst Holy Week of my life.
Mother smoothed Uncle down, calmed the poor Benedictine nuns at San Paulo and thanked the Bishop for his support, then she, too, went to Rome and joined Bona for the services at the Lateran. I did not go to see Clare. Easter Saturday was the saddest day of my short existence; I was not quite sixteen.
Agnes goes to kneel on the predieu by the altar
Narrator: Clare prayed for her sister. According to her first biographer: “She begged this grace that as they had shared the same spirit in the world.....
Agnes: - which we had -
Narrator: ....they might find unity of will in the service of God. Clare prayed continuously to the Father of Mercies that the world might become a thing without taste to her sister.....
Agnes: - it did -
Narrator: ....and that God might become pleasing
Agnes: - he always was -
Narrator: ......and so move her from thoughts of a marriage according to the flesh.”
Agnes: Uncle Monaldo had a lot of ideas about who I should marry - his eldest son, for example - that would prevent having to carve up the Offreduccio estates at Corcorano for a dowry. But Clare wanted me to love the King of Glory as she did.
The shock of being separated almost made me incapable of speaking. For all my supposed temptations to earthly marriage I think I had just assumed that our life and death would be one and that we would go to heaven together. After sixteen whole days of misery, I walked out of the front gate in broad daylight, on Tuesday of Low Week, and went to the Beguinage at San Angelo where Brother Francesco had taken my sister on Easter day.
I had not told anyone. Mother and Dona Bona were still in Rome, Francesco had just set out for Arezzo and, like the Bishop, knew nothing about it.
(Agnes rises and goes back to the table.)
Clare was waiting for me at the doorway of the small house they had let her use in the cloister of the Beguines. She said, “I thank you, Lord, for you heard my prayer for my beloved sister.”
We prayed. And we read the Gospel together that was to be our rule of life. When the brothers came with the food they had begged for us, our Rufino asked Brother Leo to go after Brother Francesco, and Brother Angelo to bring our family notary. I signed away the land that was mine from my father, asking that my mother, Ortulana, when she got home, would distribute the money received. Mother knew and loved every person in need, every crippled child, every leper in Assisi. After she had conquered the Holy Land, single handed, even the devil was frightened of her, and later, when she joined us and we were asked to pray for a particularly bad case of diabolical obsession, we used to send Mother to the parlour.
Narrator: Meanwhile, Uncle Monaldo, with his men at arms - he was a count and a soldier, and he never went anywhere without them - arrived at San Angelo.
Angry voice offstage: Caterina, what on earth have you come to this place for!?
Agnes stands and faces the choir
Agnes: (very determined)To live in obedience, without property and in chastity!
Angry voice: Get your things and come home at once!!
We looked at each other.
It might have been hard for an outsider to see it, but we did love each other very much. And it wasn’t Uncle Aldo who started the violence. It is rather hard to tell when someone has you by the hair, but I think it might have been my cousin Monaldino, the black sheep of the family. Half of the men were trying to prevent me from being hurt, and between them they lifted me up, bodily, and started to carry me out of the church and down the valley. I screamed, “Beloved sister, help me! Do not let me be taken away from Christ, my Lord!” (slight dramatic pause)
Clare, of course, never does what you expect! She ran into the church and flung herself prostrate on the floor and asked for a miracle! She got one.
We reached the stream at the bottom of the valley. The men working the fields below San Angelo had run to join the riot when suddenly, something happened to me that happened to St Agnes, the Martyr. My body became too heavy to move.
Narrator: Somebody shouted derisively, “She’s been eating lead all night!”
Agnes. Uncle was so angry - and so ashamed - that he drew his sword. I did not see an angel grasp his wrist but I think I saw his conscience reassert itself! He told us afterwards that for months he could not use his sword arm at all. My mother and sister and lady, Clare, caught up with us, knowing her prayer had been heard. She sent them all home. Clare was like a rock: you could lash your waves at her forever in vain. Uncle had been afraid of her, even when she was four; he was too ashamed and too angry to look at either of us.
Brother Francesco came that evening with Brother Leo and Brother Juniper. Unlike Clare’s entry into the life of penance, our Brothers were not prepared for me. Brother Francesco gave me Juniper’s habit - it was the right length and, as our Brother said, Brother Juniper didn’t seem to need it as much as the others! Clare had already sewn a veil for me in faith. I made my vows, in Clare’s hands, and Brother Francesco cut off my hair.
Narrator: You can see from the great Clare icon that Clare was blonde and Agnes was a redhead.
Agnes: He gave me a new name.
Narrator: Henceforth you shall be known as Sister Agnes.
Agnes: This was not because I loved St Agnes of Rome (though I do) or because I had nearly been martyred, or even for the Holy Lamb of God whom the Virgins follow in heaven.
Narrator: (Interested) No?
Agnes: No. He called me Agnes as he called Brother Leo ‘Agnello’, Little Lamb, because he hoped I would grow into the gentleness of Christ. Clare prayed for me. She not only rescued me from being hit by Uncle Aldo; she saved me from hitting him back!
Narrator: This is the year 1212, the year of Clare’s vocation and the year of Agnes’ vocation. Frederick, the King of Sicily had been born the same year as Clare. The Duchess of Spoleto, had been his nurse and cared for him at the Rocca. He, Clare (and Agnes) had all been baptised at the same font. As they were setting out for the kingdom of heaven, he was setting out in the opposite direction to get himself appointed Emperor of the Romans. They were, none of them, yet eighteen.
Agnes: Brother Francesco took Clare and I to San Damiano where our Pacifica, who had travelled the world with Mother, and Benvenuta, who had been with Clare in the cellar pushing pillars and beams around, were about to join us.
San Damiano’s was just finished. And it seemed to us that our Brother Francesco thought God would be sending rather a lot of holy ladies to rebuild the Church! The choir seated fifty!
Narrator: San Damiano’s was not as you see it today. There was no square cloister, and the choir extended out onto the back garden till it fell down in a sixteenth century earthquake, by which time it had been lived in by friars for three centuries and had been adapted to their needs.
Agnes: Brother Francis said from the start: “The Lord will teach you what to do.”
We had come to live the Gospel.
Narrator: (Mystified) Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News?
Agnes: (Carefully) Yes. But also pray and watch at all times. If the Lord had wanted us to be itinerant preachers he could have called us to the Third Order that Francis founded; the Brothers and Sisters of Penance. They do go out and preach. But the loudest sermon is deeds, not words.
Narrator: I see. While this light remained hidden in the enclosure it shot forth sparkling rays outside. While it remained hidden in the confines of the cloister, yet it was spread throughout the whole world.
Agnes: Yes. That’s rather good. The Lord sends forth his Spirit and the whole world is recreated, we unite our own small spirits with his and become a very real part of his presence throughout the Church and the world: The Lord can take the smallest thing and use it; you only have to choose to live, to give life. If you choose to live well, you give much life, As Brother Francis called out when he was begging stones to rebuild the church: “He who gives me one stone receives one blessing; he who gives me two stones receives two blessings.”
Narrator: Thousands of new friars converged at the Chapter of Mats in the plains around St Mary’ of the Angels. Everywhere the friars went, groups of women sprang up asking to live your way of life. You increased and multiplied overnight. The bricks to rebuild the Church came pouring in. But how did you keep the building together?
Agnes: By love and poverty. Our life and death has to be one, as our heavenly life will be one. We are heiresses and Queens of the heavenly kingdom. We have to love one another with the love of Christ and show it by our deeds. If a mother loves and feeds her child according to the flesh, how much more should a sister love and nourish her sister according to the Spirit. Our life has to be highest poverty and holy unity. There isn’t anything else.
Narrator: In 1214 Pope Innocent III held a council. He had had a vision of a man with a scribe’s inkhorn going through the peoples of the world marking the foreheads of the saved with the sign of the Tau.
Agnes: The immediate result of the Fourth Lateran Council which Innocent held was that Brother Francesco and Bishop Guido descended on us and told my sister that she must now become an abbess. She did not like it. I did not like it either, since I, inevitably, had to become a vicaress. We did not need to be told that we must have a novitiate. We already had a large one!
Francesco begged us, as he had begged the brothers, not to make ourselves ill with our penances, and then he asked us to pray and to discern for him what his vocation was. Should he after all, adopt our way of life and spend what time God gave him, wholly in prayer, or should he preach the word of God?
We prayed together asking God to confirm his will for Francis as did Brother Sylvester, and Lord gave us the same word: our Brother was called both to preach and to pray. His response was swift. At the Pentecost Chapter he set out for the Holy Land with Brother Elias. Before he left, we asked for something from Francis in writing. I suppose we expected a rule. What we got was a covenant that we call The Form of Life. In the huge influx of women wanting to live in poverty - at San Damiano and elsewhere - it guaranteed the one essential that was to seem obvious to future generations, but was not at all obvious at the time. It claimed us forever as Franciscans.
Narrator: The poor sisters and the lesser brothers seemed like the Lord’s answer to the cry of the age to live the Gospel life and still to remain within the one, holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Agnes: But if people objected forcefully to their sons giving away their inheritance and joining the friars, it was as nothing compared to the hysterics had by families whose daughters did likewise and then proceeded to live in a rough area like San Damiano’s, outside the city wall, in a strip of land that unscrupulous warlords were constantly moving armies up and down.
Narrator: The Sisters were plagued by those who wanted to take their daughters away for their own protection and those who would have willingly inflicted San Damiano’s with lands, olive gardens, revenues and bigger and better places to live, inside the wall.
Agnes: We were living the Gospel of prayer:
Pray and watch at all times.
Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into the harvest.
This sort of evil can only be cast out by prayer.
Stay awake and pray, for you do not know the hour when the bridegroom will come, whether it will be dusk, or midnight or cock crow. Stay awake and watch.
For When the Son of Man comes, he will ask....
I was hungry and thirsty, sick and imprisoned, a stranger and naked, all those in need of the help of your hands and the prayer of your heart.
Have you been faithful unto death? Then I will give you the crown of life.
(Moves back to the prie-dieu but does not kneel.)
Narrator: An early document tells of Clare watching Agnes, in the silence of the night, being uplifted in prayer and crowned by an angel with three crowns.
(Music. Enter Angel who kneels at some distance in front of Agnes, holding the three crowns until directed by the text to place them, one at a time, on her head. Agnes turns to face the angel.)
Agnes: First I pondered 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....
Narrator: Then Clare saw the angel place the first crown on her head.
Agnes: Secondly I beheld 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. And I let myself be led to offer my daily life for the needs of the Church and the world.
Narrator: And Clare saw the angel place the second crown on her head.
Agnes: Then I considered what we call ‘purgatory’ that takes place in the last moment of time; it is the last stage of a lifetime of purification, change and growth - and how God in the mystery of His love invites us to help each other.
Narrator: The angel laid the third crown on Agnes head ....(Pause while angel does this, and a little longer) .... Then the angel gathered up the three crowns and returned to the King of Angels.
Agnes: We prayed for the Church. And the Church was not long in taking an interest in us!
Cardinal Hugolino of Ostia came down to San Damiano to celebrate Holy Week with us in the Enclosure with his secretary, a rather gentle Cistercian called Father Ambrosio. He left his retinue at the Bishop’s palace and stayed with the brothers, and was cheerful in the face of the mice and Brother Juniper’s cooking. He gave us an unforgettable Holy Week, and he loved us and our way of life and he entrusted his soul to us. This made it even harder to tell him that we did not like his Constitutions and could not accept the Rule of St Benedict!
In his letters to us he always referred to me as ‘his’ sister. I certainly found myself arguing with him as if he had been my brother.
We were already trying to help communities that were springing up in the valley of Spoleto. As Clare’s vicaress I had already worked with the sisters at Vallegloria, Perugia, Foligno and San Severino. Everywhere our brothers preached, women wanted to band together and follow highest poverty. The Lord gave us sisters. Our childhood friends:- Bevenuta, Agnes Oportulo (whose father had been a Waldensian) Pacifica, Caecilia, Christiana, Angelucca, Francesca Coldimezzo, Lucia, who was left on our doorstep as a baby with a medal of Rome tied round her neck, Amata, the child of our cousin Martino and his wife Penenda, who came on a family visit when she was five clung to the grille and would not let go, Marie de Braye, whom we sent to found the first Poor Clares in France at Rheims. We sent Benigna and three other of our sisters to Princess Agnes in Prague, and from there, Tranava in Slovakia, Olmuc in Moravia and Zavichost in Poland, were founded. Agnese, another of Martino’s daughters, we sent to Burgos in Spain. From there the Order spread like wildfire over Spain and Portugal. Finally, our own mother, Madonna Ortulana, and our youngest sister, Beatrix, joined us. But before this, Francis himself came in Cardinal Hugolino’s name, and asked me to take my olive tree and plant it in Monticelli, outside the city walls of Florence. I took our Sister Giacoma as my companion.
Our sisters in Florence had gathered together spontaneously, after Francis preached in the city. They lived together in part of the house of the Amidei, the home of Bella Avvenente
Narrator: Through the work of Brother Michael they were offered the place at Monticelli. Agnes found them a loving community; wonderfully united and eager to learn the admonitions and precepts of Clare. They wished to make their vows and to observe them for the whole time of their lives. Though Avegnenti had Popes in her family tree, she and her sister-in-law, Sassa, and her niece, Cara, welcomed Agnes and Giacoma with great joy.
Agnes: But what it cost me to leave Clare and my beloved sister with whom I had thought I would live and die in this world, I cannot put into words.
I had innocently believed that we, who had one and the same flesh and blood, would be buried in the same grave. I loved each of my sisters at San Damiano’s and the loss of them left me without words. I knew, as one does, that I would not be going home. It was that terribly lonely Christmas that as I prayed at Matins, I saw in a vision, my sisters at San Damiano’s praying at the Mass of Christmas night and felt Mary place the Christchild in my arms. In 1222 I sent Giacoma to take on the new community in Milan.
I took sisters from Monticelli to Padua and from there, I went on to Mantua. Clare’s light may have shone out from her hidden life, but I had to go on foot to these places with an escort of our brothers. I was not at home in Assisi when Francis died and we were told that Clare was also near death.
Narrator: Gregory was elected pope - on Clare’s birthday, and he came to Assisi to canonize Francis on another 16th July, in her honour. But Agnes was at Mantua - trying to persuade the Holy See to extend to the monasteries she had founded, the Privilege of Holy Poverty.
When Cardinal Hugolino became Pope Gregory IX, he made Cardinal Rainaldo the protector of the sisters.
Agnes: After Francis’ death, Cardinal Rainaldo sent letters to many of the convents we had founded or supported. It was a most loving letter - but it did not take away the Rule of St Benedict! Everywhere I went, I had to fight for poverty. What our Holy Fathers wanted to give us, was austerity with financial security. But poverty was the austerity that the Lord Jesus himself had freely practised and the vast majority of humanity were forced to practise! Our witness was to show that God takes care of those who trust in him!
That Clare and I quarreled with our father, Pope Gregory, did not stop us loving each other! He would have willingly provided land and investments for every Poor Clare house. He offered to absolve Clare from her vows, so that she could accept these gifts, and our lady and mother, answered, “Do not absolve me from my vows; absolve me from my sins!” He looked at her and answered, “Would to God I had as few sins as you have!”
What made it so hard was that he loved us so much, and in private, as Pope, he, himself, lived he life of a poor friar, putting on his habit and cord when the day’s work was done, and looking after a poor leper who lived in the private papal apartments. Once he fumbled a bit when washing the leper’s wounds and the leper, who hadn’t grasped who he was, remarked, “It’s a pity the Pope can’t find someone better to take care of me than a poor old man like you.”
I was asked to go to Venice, to help found the community there. I had visited numerous communities, but Venice was a foreign country, speaking an incomprehensible language. We lived on a waterlogged island, and the sisters who served outside the monastery went begging by boat!
Narrator: In 1243, Gregory died and Innocent IV became Pope.
Agnes: In the thick of political turmoil, Innocent managed to invent a whole new rule. It was full of law and discipline, proposed sign language and some very quaint clothing, and it omitted enclosure from the vow formula while requiring a black curtain over the choir grille during Mass. But, it allowed us to observe the vows in the manner of our Father Francis’ rule. So it was some improvement!
Clare had written down her admonitions and precepts for me to take to Monticelli, and now she began to write a rule.
Narrator: Clare and been a sick woman for more than thirty years, and now she was dying. She sent for Agnes, who came home to San Damiano’s via Monticelli.
Agnes: We were all coming home: Pacifica from Vallegloria, Lucia from Cortona, Balvina from Arezzo, Christina from Foligno, Benedetta from Sienna, Ermentrude of Bruges was making her way, unknown to us, across Europe, but our mother’s most beloved daughter, Agnes of Prague, was too far away to be summoned.
I sat at the head of the bed of our mother and sister, weeping and she said - as if chiding a doubter,
Narrator: “It is pleasing to God that I go. But stop crying! Because you will come to the Lord, a short time after me.”
Agnes: And she turned to our cousin Amata, and said?
Narrator: “Do you see the King of Glory, as I do?”
Agnes: I held her hand and she pressed it gently, and said, for my ears alone,
Narrator: The patience of those whose vision springs from the contemplation of the Godhead, produces the delights of paradise for the patient one, and will purchase the riches of an eternal reward.
Agnes: (Stands) With Pope Innocent IV behind us, we carried the body of our mother and sister to San Giorgio, and laid it in the stone tomb that had once held the body of Francis. Then, in utter weariness of spirit, we walked down to San Damiano’s, weeping and wordless.
Though three days after the funeral we had a formal election, Clare had indicated her desire, well before her death, that Mother Benedetta Tebalduccio should succeed her. I sat in choir before the image of the Crucified, for whom we were rebuilding the Church, and felt as empty as I had that Palm Sunday, in 1212, when Clare had run to the Portiuncula. Empty and afraid. On the olive trees in the garden, the fruit hung heavy. Olives are picked at the beginning of winter, washed in many waters, and left to mature in brine to make them palatable for eating - or they are just crushed in heavy stone mills, for oil. That is how I felt.
When Clare left the world, in 1212, I waited sixteen days to follow her. And when she left the earth, forever, I waited sixteen days to follow her.
(Angel appears with three crowns.)
Narrator: Come you blest of my Father, enter the kingdom prepared for you.
Agnes: What manner of greeting can this be?
Narrator: I was hungry and thirsty, and you showed me the goodness and patience of God.
I was a stranger and naked, and you showed me the love of God.
I was sick and imprisoned in death, and you showed me the mercy of God.
Agnes: When were you hungry and thirsty, a stranger and naked, sick and in prison?
Narrator: Whatever good you prayed, for the least of these who are mine, you did through me, with me and in me.
Amen. I say to you: today you will be with me in paradise.
(Angel crowns Agnes and they depart together.)