AGNES (AGNA) Virgin. Martyr. (January 21) (4th century) A Virgin-Martyr, everywhere venerated and one of those daily commemorated in the Canon of the Mass. At the tender age of thirteen, she obtained the double crown of martyrdom and chastity. Failing to burn her at the stake, the Prefect of Rome under Maximian Herculeus ordered her to be beheaded (A.D. 301), though this precise date is much contested. She was buried on the Via Nomentana, where a church was built by Constantia, daughter of the Emperor Constantine. Saint Agnes is represented in various ways, but mostly with a lamb at her feet and a sword in her hand. Many details of the fifth century Acts of Saint Agnes are open to criticism, though substantially the circumstances of her martyrdom are authentic.