Thursday, January 21, 2010

St. Agnes (c.291 to c.304)

When I was 13-years-old, a typical day might include going to junior high, playing video games at the mall after school, reading a teen magazine, and listening to the soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever when I got home.
St. Agnes died at age 13 and yet she is one of seven women (not including the Virgin Mary) that is recognized in the Canon of the Mass. And, even though she lived only a short time, there is a lovely tradition celebrated on her feast day, Jan. 21.
Two lambs are taken from Tre Fontane, a Trappist abbey in the Eternal City, to the Pope to be blessed. The animals are shorn on Holy Thursday and the wool is made into a vestment which is presented by the Pope to a new archbishop.
St. Agnes, a virgin martyr, was born c. 291 in Rome, Italy. In art work, you can expect to see her as a beautiful blonde usually holding a lamb. On the eve of her feast day, young girls perform rituals to find out their future husbands.
She is the patron saint of gardeners, virgins, rape victims, and engaged couples. St. Agnes died c.304 and her feast day is today.

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