St. Agnes of Rome
Feast Day: January 21
Patron Saint of: Children of Mary, girls, young girls
According to St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, St. Agnes was martyred at the age of 12. Pope Damasus adorned her tomb with sacred poetry. St. Agnes is represented with a martyr's palm and a lamb. On her feast day, the Pope blesses the Pallium, a stole made from lambs wool which is worn by metropolitans. St. Agnes is the Patron Saint of Children of Mary, girls, and young girls.
Saint Agnes was a wealthy and beautiful young girl. She turned away many generous eligible suitors, all in the name of her faith, for Christ was her bridegroom. Living in the time of the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian, she was under constant threat of torture and death, but she did not falter. Her resolve in the face of all of these threats also strengthened the resolve of the Romans. In an attempt to break the young girl of her faith, she was turned over to a brothel; however, the men that were sent to her could not find it within themselves to violate her. Annoyed at this news, the Roman governor had enough and sentenced her to death. At her execution she remained faithful and strong, encouraging her executioners to hasten the task, for she despised the beauty which brought out the lust and desires of the young Roman men.
News of this saintly young girl and her courage spread wide and fast. Emperor Constantine, the first Roman emperor to accept the Christian religion thus ending the persecutions of the time, was so impressed by the legend of Saint Agnes that he traveled to the spot of her burial place to baptize his own daughter.