Agnes, Saint

Agnes, Saint

Agnes, Saint, 4th cent., virgin martyr. A noble Roman girl martyred at the age of 13 after rejecting a well-born suitor. She was included in the Depositio Martyrum of 354. On her feast day lambs are blessed and pallia (see pallium) are made from their wool. Feast: Jan. 21.

(flourished 4th century, Rome; feast day January 21) Legendary Christian martyr, the patron saint of girls. According to tradition, she was a beautiful virgin who turned away all suitors, declaring that she could have no spouse but Jesus. The rejected suitors informed Roman officials that she was a Christian, and she was punished by being exposed in a brothel. There she was left miraculously unharmed; the only man who attempted to violate her was struck blind, and she healed him with prayer. She was later murdered during the persecutions ordered by Diocletian.

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