St. Agnes of Rome Facts
- The name Agnes means “pure” in Greek and “Lamb” in Latin.
- Agnes is said to have been born in Rome around 290 AD to a Roman Christian Family.
- As a young girl she consecrated herself to Christ through a vow of Chastity.
- The son of the Roman Prefect encountered her one day and fell in love with her.
- He tried to buy her all kinds of gifts to get her to marry him.
- Agnes replied, “I have already found another lover. I love Christ, into whose chamber I have entered, whose Mother is a virgin. When I love Him, I remain chaste.”
- The Roman Prefect arrested her and sentenced her to death by burning. However,
- the flames did not consume her.
- The Prefect then ordered her beheaded. At age 13 she died a martyr and Virgin for Christ.
- January 21st is the Feast Day of St. Agnes.
Symbols Associated with St. Agnes
The Crown of Roses
In the kingdom of men, the crowns made of durable, precious metals yield the symbol of power and dominion. In the Kingdom of God, it is always the opposite. It is those crowns made from living vines and branches that God chooses to show that true power is found in those rooted in the earth – in other words, in humility (derived from the Latin humus meaning “from the earth”).
The Sacrificial Lamb
The lamb is used to represent the purity and virginity that Agnes died to protect. Throughout Scripture and Ancient Tradition, the lamb is the innocent animal that is offered up as a sacrifice to God. We first see this in the Book of Exodus when an innocent lamb is slaughtered and its blood used to protect the homes of the Israelites while the spirit of God passed over Egypt. Jesus is also often represented as the Lamb of God who was slaughtered to save us all. In the same way, St. Agnes gave her innocent life for the glory of God.
The Crown of Roses
As the story goes, when some men tried to take advantage of young Agnes, her hair grew covering her up and protecting her virginity. The hair represents God’s saving power and the grace of God.
The Olive Branch
The branch represents the martyr’s victory in passing through torments of this world to the blessed life in Heaven.It also represents the victory of her purity being conserved for God until death