St. Agnes (c. 291-21 January 304)
Agnes was born to a noble family in Rome in about the year 291. She was raised as a Christian and was martyred at the tender age of 12. A Roman Prefect had decided that she was to marry his son. When Agnes refused, the prefect ordered that she be put to death. As it was forbidden to kill virgins, she was dragged to the brothel, but the men who attempted to rape her were struck blind. When they took her to the stake to burn her, the wood would not burn. She was finally beheaded by the sword, cheerfully dying for her Lord.
It is said that her martyrdom helped end martyrdoms in Rome, as people were disgusted that paganism had to be preserved by the death of one so young.
(readings may be omitted if no celebration of the Eucharist. )
Collect: Lord Yeshua, who gave even children the strength to stand up for the true faith in face of persecution. Give us Agnes’s child like faith that we may always witness as to what you have done for us. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)