January 21

Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr


St. Agnes has been venerated since the 4th century in Rome. Various early legends make it difficult to determine the details of her martyrdom, but it’s clear she was young and heroic. After her death, Constantina, Constantine’s daughter, had a basilica erected over the young virgin’s grave. St. Agnes’ name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass and early Church Fathers and Christian poets, including St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, praised her virtue.[1][2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Agnes of Rome.”
[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 25.
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2019 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.