St. Agnes

St. Agnes of Rome (c.  291 – c.  304) is a virgin martyr, venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Churches. St. Agnes is one of several virgin martyrs commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. Since the Middle Ages, Saint Agnes has traditionally been depicted as a young girl with her long hair down, with a lamb, the symbol of both her virginal innocence and her name, and a sword (together with the palm branch an attribute of her martyrdom). The lamb, which is agnus in the Latin language, is also the linguistic link to the traditional blessing of lambs.

She is, among other patronages, a patron saint of girls, chastity, virgins, victims of sex abuse, and gardeners. Saint Agnes’ feast day is 21 January.


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