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Wrapping up this month’s feature, Saints, with Saint Agnes.

Saint Agnes (3rd century) was a very beautiful woman, raised as a Christian in Ancient Rome. At age 12, suitors were lining up for her hand in marriage. She turned them all down to devote her life to God. Bitter and angry, one of these men must have turned her in, she was arrested and placed in a house of prostitution. The story says that anyone who looked upon her in lust, lost their eyesight- but eventually their sight was restored when Agnes prayed for them. She was sentenced to death.

For centuries, two lambs have been brought to her catacomb ever year. The lambs remain at the church until they have matured and their wool is used to make “palliums” or special stoles that are distributed by the Pope to his archbishops.

She is the Patron Saint of chastity, crops, girls, gardeners, rape victims and virgins. Her feast day is January 21.

She is usually depicted with a palm branch or lambs.

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