, Rome:  The Basilica of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (Sant’Agnese fuori le mura)

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Rome: The Basilica of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (Sant’Agnese fuori le mura)

About Saint Agnes:

A young martyr of the early Church, Agnes was born in Rome in 291 AD and raised in a Christian family, at a time when Christianity was still a crime. She was very beautiful as well as belonging to a wealthy family, so she had many men asking for her hand in marriage. But Agnes had vowed to remain a virgin and devote herself to God. Whenever a man wished to marry Agnes, she would always say, “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.”

Ultimately this brought her trouble….details vary as to the actual events, but in any event she refused to renounce her faith and was condemned to death.  She is often represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virgin innocence, and a palm branch, like other martyrs. She is shown as a young girl in robes holding a palm branch with the lamb either at her feet or in her arms.

St. Agnes is the patron saint of young girls as well as patron saint of chastity, rape survivors and the Children of Mary

 

A religious congregation was founded in her name in 1858 in Barton, Wisconsin by Father Caspar Rehrl, an Austrian missionary to the U.S. It is known as The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Agnes.

St. Agnes is widely known as the patron saint of young girls. She is also the patron saint of chastity, rape survivors and the Children of Mary.

Her feast day is celebrated on January 21.

On her feast day, it is customary for two lambs to be brought in to be blessed by the pope. Then, 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.

 

About the Basilica of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls:

Originally the remains of Saint Agnes were interred in the catacombs of Saint Agnes, one of the many catacombs of Rome.  Later, a church was built over the catacombs and her bones placed under the altar here in the Basilica. in the church, although her skull is preserved in the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone in Rome’s Piazza Navona.

 

Finding the Basilica of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls:

Address:  Via Nomentana, 349, 00162 Roma RM, Italy

Tel:  +39 (06) 8620 5456

Click here for the official website of Saint Agnes Outside the Walls

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