Saint Agnes of Montepulciano

St. Agnes of Montepulciano (1268–1317) was born into a noble family in Tuscany. Her birth was announced with strange lights surrounding her dwelling, considered a sign that she was a favored child. At nine years of age she requested to enter the local Franciscan monastery in Montepulciano. Although doing so at her young age was against Church law, she obtained special permission from the pope. She became a model nun, reached a high degree of contemplative prayer, and executed her duties so well that she was chosen to help found and lead a new monastery in Proceno when she was just 15 years old, again with special permission at her young age. She lived there for 20 years and became known as a great mystic and visionary while cultivating a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She became locally famous for her miracles as well as for her austerities. She lived on bread and water, slept on the ground, and used a stone for a pillow. Eventually, Agnes returned to Montepulciano. By request she founded and led an even larger monastery, this time receiving a vision that it should be a convent of Dominican nuns dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Through her prayers she cured the sick, multiplied food, and raised to life a child who had drowned. Her feast day is April 20.

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