Feast of Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes lived from the year 291 to the year 304.  She is the patron saint of chastity, girls, gardeners, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. 

St Agnes is acknowledged in the Roman Catholic Church, the Easter Catholic Churches, the Church of England, the Anglican Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

She is depicted with a lamb in art, because 

her name resembles the Latin word agnus (lamb).  She was born of Roman nobility and raised in a Christian family.  She was martyred at the age of 13, 

The Roman Prefect Sempronius wanted Agnes to marry his son, but she refused.  She was still a virgin. 

Because Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins, Sempronius had her dragged naked to a brothel.  Agned prayed and her hair grew and covered her body.  

Legend also has it that all the men who tried to rape her were struck blind.  Agnes was then tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood that had to light the fire would not ignite. 

Agnes was then either beheaded or stabbed in the throat.  On the feast day of St Agnes, two lambs are brought from an abbey in Rome to the pope for a blessing.

On Holy Thursday the lambs are shorn and their wool is used to weave the Pallium (a narrow band, three fingers broad, woven of white lamb's wool and draped over the shoulders) which the pope gives to a newly consecrated metropolitan Archbishop as a sign of his jurisdiction and his union with the pope.

Last modified on Monday, 27 January 2014 21:06

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