Agnus Dei, Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi, Miserere Nobis

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

It is an ancient prayer recited aloud by Catholics of the Roman Church just before receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion and is believed to have been incorporated into the Roman liturgy by Pope Sergius I in the 7th century.

The prayer has its foundation in the Gospel of St. John, where Jesus travels to the banks of the river Jordan to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist. John announces to the world: “Behold the lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Lest we forget what transpired over 2,000 years ago yesterday, recall that it might well have been the cry of Dismas. He was the “good” thief who acknowledged his own guilt even as he begged mercy of Jesus, the Lamb of God who suffered and died for the redemption of miserable wretches like Dismas…and me.

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