Saints in Art – Saint Agnes

[Saint Agnes of Rome]Article

(Spanish Inez) (21st January) One of the oldest Christian legends is that of Saint Agnes, the Roman virgin martyr. From childhood she was distinguished for her purity and sanctity. While still a girl, Sempronius, the son of the Prefect of Rome, fell in love with her, but all his gifts and flattery availed him nothing. When the Prefect saw his son sick, he added his persuasions, but she refused absolutely,saying that Christ was her spouse. Then he grew angry, and ordered all sorts of torments: she was stripped of clothing, but her hair suddenly grew so long that it covered her entirely. When the onlookers, terrified, shut her up, an angel appeared to her, bringing a shining garment. When Sempronius approached her, he was smitten with blindness and convulsions, and the Prefect ordered her to be burnt as a sorceress. But the flames refused to touch her, burning the executioners instead. She was then killed with the sword, preserving her purity to the end, and the legend says that she appeared afterwards to people worshipping at her tomb, accompanied by a snow-white lamb. She is represented as very young and fair, with a lamb.

MLA Citation

  • Margaret E Tabor. “Saint Agnes”. The Saints in Art, with Their Attributes and Symbols. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 February 2014. Web. 25 December 2014. <>