January 21: Agnes of Rome [292-304]
A popular saint about whom little is known, Agnes is said to have been a beautiful, wealthy Roman maiden who had, in childhood, dedicated herself to God. Some say that a rejected suitor betrayed her to authorities; others say that she was asked at 13 to sacrifice to the gods and marry, both of which she refused. Legends tell of her being thrown into a brothel, where her purity was miraculously preserved. Having escaped that fate, she was martyred. In the IV Century, Constantia, the daughter of Constantine, built a basilica on the site of her tomb....Her emblem in art is the lamb because of the similarity between her name and the Latin word for lamb, agnus.
Almighty and everlasting God, you choose those whom the
world deems powerless to put the powerful to shame: Grant us so to cherish the
memory of your youthful martyr Agnes, that we may share her pure and steadfast
faith in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen