Young Saint Agnes lived in Rome at a time when it was against the law to be Christian. Her name means 'lamb'. She was young, wealthy and beautiful. Agnes was gentle and pure. Many young men wanted to marry her but she refused them all saying that she had chosen Someone else. The young men were very angry because Agnes refused to marry them so they accused her of being a Christian.
They brought her before a judge and tried to frighten her into saying that she was not a Christian. Agnes would not say that she was not a Christian because she was a Christian. They showed her some of the instruments they would use torture her and a great big fire. Agnes was not afraid and refused to betray her God.
They bound her hands and feet and seeing that Agnes was not afraid of pain, they had her clothes stripped off and she had to stand in the street before a pagan crowd. She cried out “Christ will protect His own.” A miracle happened! Her hair grew so long that it covered her entire body!
Agnes was offered the hand of a rich man in marriage but she refused saying “Christ is my Spouse. He chose me first and His I will be. He made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him Whom the Angels serve.” The judge ordered that she be put to death thinking that Agnes would change her mind but she would not.
She bowed her head in prayer and then bowed her head to the sword above her. At one stroke her head was cut off.
Saint Agnes was a martyr. A martyr is someone who chooses to die rather than betray their religious beliefs. She gave her life for the love of God and His Church.