Saints and Their Symbols – Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

[Saint Agnes of Rome]Article

A.D. 304, January 21, was a Roman maiden of great beauty. When only thirteen years old she was asked in marriage by the son of the prefect Sempronius, but she refused him, saying she was already betrothed to One greater than any earthly suitor. On hearing this the prefect’s son fell ill with disappointment and jealousy. His father, much enraged against Agnes, whom he now found to be a Christian, subjected her to cruel tortures and indignities. The young man, thinking she must now be subdued to his will, entered her prison, but was at once struck blind and apparently lifeless. The prayers of Agnes, however, restored him, and Sempronius then would have saved her; but the people declared she was a sorceress, and called for her death. Accordingly she was laid on a burning pile; but the fire was miraculously extinguished, Agnes remaining safe, though the executioners perished in the flames. Then by order of the prefect she was slain with the sword, upon the pile. The Christians buried her in the Via Nomentana, and her tomb became their place of assembly for devotion; and there one day she appeared to them with a lamb by her side, and told them of her perfect happiness and glory. Lamb. Olive branch. Palm.

MLA Citation

  • E A Greene. “Saint Agnes”. Saints and Their Symbols, 1909. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 August 2013. Web. 3 March 2021. <>