Saint Agnes of Rome

St. Agnes (c. 291–304 A.D.) was born to a noble Roman family. She was a beautiful young woman of twelve or thirteen years of age when many suitors desired her hand in marriage. Instead of marrying, St. Agnes committed herself to a life of consecrated virginity as a spouse of Christ. She was then denounced to the authorities as a Christian during the persecutions of Roman Emperor Diocletian. She was condemned to be dragged naked through the streets into a brothel to be sexually abused. She miraculously escaped from this predicament with her virginity preserved and was then condemned to be burned at the stake. Again, by a miracle, her persecutors were unable to carry out her sentence. Finally, they put her to death by beheading. Of all the virgin martyrs, St. Agnes is held in the first place by the Church. She is one of the seven women, besides the Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. St. Agnes' name means 'chaste' and she is the patroness of girls, chastity, engaged couples, virgins, rape victims, and the Girl Scouts. Her feast day is January 21st.

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