St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

St. Agnes Feast Day — January 21

St. Agnes Church is St. Thomas’ twinning parish in Manderson, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

St. Agnes of Rome was born in 291 AD and raised in a Christian family. Agnes was very beautiful and belonged to a wealthy family. Her hand in marriage was highly sought after, and she had many high-ranking men wishing to marry her. However, Agnes made a promise to God to remain pure. Her love for the Lord was great and she hated sin even more than death!

Whenever a man wished to marry Agnes, she would always say, “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.”

According to legend, the young men she turned away became so angry and insulted by her devotion to God and purity that they began to submit her name to authorities as a Christian follower. She died a virgin-martyr at the age of 12 or 13 on January 21, 304.

St. Agnes is widely known as the patron saint of young girls. She is also the patron saint of chastity and rape survivors. She is often represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virgin innocence, and a palm branch, like other martyrs. 

Her feast day is January 21. On her feast day, it is customary for two lambs to be blessed by the pope. On Holy Thursday, the lambs’ wool is removed and woven into the pallium the pope gives to a newly consecrated archbishop as a sign of his power and union with the pope.