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Saint Agnes of Rome
Saint Agnes of Rome

Saint Agnes of Rome

Feast Day
Jan 21, 2013
Engaged Couples, Chastity, Crops, Children of Mary, Gardeners, Girls, Rape Victims, Virgins
<p>St. Agnes was a member of the Roman nobility born in 291, who was raised in a Christian family.&nbsp; She suffered martyrdom at the age of thirteen during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian, on January 21, 304.&nbsp; The Prefect Sempronius wanted Agnes to marry his son, but Agnes refused and was condemned to death.&nbsp; Since Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins, he had Agnes stripped naked, and dragged her through the streets to a brothel. &nbsp;</p> <p>Legend says that she had several methods to escape this predicament.&nbsp; One says as she prayed, her hair grew and covered her body.&nbsp; One says that every man that tried to rape her was immediately struck blind.&nbsp; In another the son of the Prefect is struck dead, but revived after Agnes prayed for him, causing her release.&nbsp; After this, there was another trial where the Prefect excused himself, and another judge sentenced her to death.&nbsp; She was tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her.&nbsp; Angered, the officer drew his sword and beheaded her.&nbsp; A few days later, her foster-sister St. Emerentiana, was found praying by her tomb.&nbsp; When caught she was stoned to death. &nbsp;</p> <p>St. Agnes&rsquo;s bones are conserved beneath the high Altar in the Church of &ldquo;St. Agnes&rdquo; in Rome, built over the catacomb that housed Agnes&rsquo;s tomb.&nbsp; Her skull is preserved in a separate chapel in the Church of St. Agnes in Agone.&nbsp; An interesting custom is observed on her feast day.&nbsp; Two lambs are brought from the Trappist Abbey of Tre Fontane in Rome, and blessed by the Pope.&nbsp; On Holy Thursday, those same two are shorn, and the wool is woven into the &ldquo;pallium&rdquo; which the pope gives to a newly consecrated Archbishop as a sign of his jurisdiction and his union with the Pope. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Agnes is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the &ldquo;Canon of the Mass&rdquo;.&nbsp; She was a martyr under the Roman emperor Diocletian.&nbsp; She escaped her death by a series of miracles, which only angered her guard.&nbsp; He couldn&rsquo;t burn her at the stake, because the flames parted around her.&nbsp; Eventually she was beheaded.&nbsp; She was only thirteen years old when she was martyred.&nbsp; Many miracles have taken place through her intercession, and she is the patron saint of Engaged Couples, Chastity, Crops, Children of Mary, Crops, Gardeners, Girls, Rape Victims, and Virgins.</p>