Saint Agnes of Prague

[Saint Agnes of Prague]Also known as

  • Anežka Ceská
  • Anežka Premyslovna
  • Agnes of Bohemia

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Born a princess, the youngest daughter of King Ottokar I and Queen Constance of Bohemia. Relative of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.

Educated by Cistercian nuns at Trebnitz, Germany. Though she early perceived a call to religious life, Agnes was for years promised into a series of arranged marriages for political reasons. At age three she was promised to a prince named Boleslaus. When he died prior to the marriage, she was betrothed to Prince Henry, son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. When Henry chose to marry another, young Agnes was betrothed to Emperor Frederick himself. With the help and intervention of Pope Gregory IX, though affronted, Frederick released Agnes from her marriage obligations, acknowledging that he had lost her to the king of heaven.

She built a Franciscan hospital on land donated by her brother, King Wenceslaus I. She then established the Confraternity of the Crusaders of the Red Star to staff it and its related clinics. She later built a Franciscan friary, and in 1234, Poor Clare convent of Saint Saviour in Prague (in modern Czech Republic) with the aid of five nuns sent by Saint Clare of Assisi herself. Agnes entered the convent of Saint Saviour herself on Pentecost Sunday 1234, eventually became its abbess, and spent 50 years in the cloister.

Agnes was always free with her wealth in service of the poor. She enjoyed cooking for the other sisters, and mending the clothes of lepers. She had the gifts of healing and prophecy, and was given to ecstasies. Though they never met, she and Saint Clare of Assisi kept up an extensive correspondence for two decades, and some of the letters have survived to today.

Born

Died

Beatified

Canonized

Additional Information

Readings

Agnes of Bohemia, although she lived in a period far removed from ours, still remains a shining example of the Christian faith and heroic charity, which invites us to reflection and imitation. She is an example of courage and spiritual help for the young people who generously consecrate themselves to the religious life; for all those who follow Christ; she is a stimulus of charity practiced toward everyone with total dedication, overcoming every barrier of race, nation or mentality; she is the heavenly protectress of our difficult daily journey. To her we can therefore turn with great trust and hope. - Pope John Paul II, during the canonization recognition of Saint Agnes

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Agnes of Prague“. Saints.SQPN.com. 23 March 2014. Web. 21 April 2014. <>