January 21 -- St. Agnes
On January 21, 304, St. Agnes suffered martyrdom at the tender age of twelve. As a Christian, she was condemned to death but since the law forbade the execution of virgins, she was dragged to a brothel first.
Miraculously her virginity remained intact by the intervention of an angel who struck her attacker blind. In another miracle, her hair grew to cover her virginal body from onlookers at her death pyre. The fire that was to devour her would not burn. Finally, death came by the sword.
St. Agnes represents the epitome of mature virtue at an immature age. Her virtue won the victory of martyrdom even though she was young and vulnerable. God took care of all her material insufficiencies because she was resolved to remain faithful to Him.
The Author of nature is beyond nature and so He suspends His Own laws to honor the fidelity of St. Agnes. She remained both virgin and martyr as a result and the glory of St. Agnes is
that she is remembered through the ages with seven women who are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.
Let us ask St. Agnes for the virtue of purity, purity of intention and of body as well as for the virtue of trust in God's goodness. May we have the maturity and seriousness to live and die as did St. Agnes.