Agnes

Agnes saint and martyr. The acts of her martyrdom which have come down to us as written by Ambrose are spurious, and nothing further is known of her history than what Prudentius relates in the 14th Hymn, περὶ στεφάνων, and Ambrose in lib. 1, de Virginibus, which amounts to this: Agnes, at the early age of twelve or thirteen, having made profession of the Christian faith at Rome, was put to the torment to induce her to retract, in vain, and the judge ordered her to be conveyed to a house of ill fame, hoping that fear for her chastity might force her to recant. But God preserved his servant in this trial; for, according to the tradition, the first man who cast his eyes upon her was struck with blindness, and fell nearly dead at her feet! Nevertheless the saintly story adds that she was immediately delivered over to the executioner and was beheaded, according to Ruinart, in 304, or, according to Bollandus, in the preceding century. Augustine, in his 273d Sermon, declares that he made that discourse on the anniversary of the passion of St. Agnes, St. Fructuosus, and St. Eulogius, viz., Jan. 21st, on which day her festival is celebrated by the Latin, Greek, and English Churches. Many churches contend for the honor of possessing her remains. — Butler, Lives of Saints, Jan. 21.

 
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