Saint Agnes of Rome was a young martyr at age 12 or 13 in 4th century Rome. Tradition tells us that Agnes was a beautiful young girl who refused the marriage proposal of many young suitors saying she needed no spouse but Jesus Christ. She desired to live a life of purity and chastity for Christ. The son of a pagan governor was upset when Agnes refused to marry him. The governor ordered her to abandon her faith and marry his son. Even though he threatened her with death, Agnes refused. She died a Christian martyr.
Saint Agnes is usually depicted with a lamb as a symbol of her purity and dedication to Christ, the Good Shepherd. Every year on Agnes’ feast day, the pope blesses a pair of lambs whose wool is used for palliums, the stoles worn by Archbishops.
Saint Agnes’ feast day is January 21st, and she is the patron saint of chastity, virgins, and gardeners.
Use the activity sheet below for a simple way to celebrate Saint Agnes of Rome. Using glue and cotton balls, invite your children to put the wool on the lamb. Use these few minutes to tell them about Saint Agnes and her love for Jesus Christ. Teach them about the tradition celebrated on her feast day, and show them a picture of palliums.
Saint Agnes of Rome was devoted to Jesus Christ even at a young age. What things can we do to help foster that kind of love and devotion to Jesus in our families?