By Sarah Levesque (Rated PG)
Saint Agnes was a Roman martyr from the times of the early persecutions of the Church whose exact time period is unknown, though she may have died in 304. While her exact story is also unclear, tradition holds that Agnes professed herself to be married to Jesus and would accept no other husband. One legend says that she was brought to a brothel but was miraculously protected from the men who tried to rape her. Another legend claims she was stripped naked and dragged through the streets, but her hair miraculously grew long enough to maintain her modesty. The legends also tell of how she was sentenced to death by fire, but the fire would not burn her so she was decapitated with a sword. During the time of Emperor Constantine (d. 337), a basilica was built in Agnes’ honor over her tomb, and among the artwork is a mosaic of Agnes, a young girl, standing in fire and with a sword at her feet. Saint Agnes is the patron saint of young girls, of chastity, and of rape victims and she is often depicted with a lamb to symbolize her virginity and a palm to symbolize her martyrdom.
May we, like Saint Agnes, find the courage and trust to stand up for what is right, come what may.