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St Agnes of Rome SAINT OF THE DAY January 21

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SAINT OF THE DAY January 21 St Agnes of Rome virgin Martyr

 

St Agnes of Rome

SAINT OF THE DAY

January 21

St Agnes of Rome

virgin Martyr (c.304)

 

St Agnes has ever been held in the highest honour throughout the Church, and her name occurs in the Canon 0f the Mass. Little is known with certainty about her short life. Yet, even from that little it is clear that she was desirous of consecrating herself solely to Christ and so declined the hand of many a suitor. This led her to be exposed in a brothel, where, all who saw her were awestruck. A lone youth who dared to attempt violating her modesty was struck blind but regained his eyesight through the intervention of Agnes’ prayers. She was eventually martyred at the age of 12 and buried at her parents’ country place on the Via Nomentana, 11/2 miles outside of Rome. A basilica constructed over her tomb in 324 was completely rebuilt by Pope Honorius about 630 and has remained almost unaltered since, a beautiful gem of old Roman architecture.

 

St Agnes is the Patron of purity, of the “Children of Mary” and of young girls in general, for tradition has always credited her with having been a model of purity and modesty and having maintained her faith in spite of every enticement, threat and torture. Gardeners also revere her as their patron.

 

Each year, this day, 2 young white lambs- symbols of innocence - are solemnly blessed at the high altar of her church and offered to the Pope, and from their wool are later made the Pullia which the Holy Father sends to the Metropolitans the world uver as a sign of their sharing with him the “plenitude of the pontifical office”.

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