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Saint Agnes of Assisi

Saint Agnes of Assisi
  • Century: 13th Century
  • Patronage: siblings, children of Mary, engaged couples, chastity
  • Feast Day: November 16th

St. Agnes of Assisi was the younger sister of St. Clare of Assisi (it is always a marvelous thought to consider saints who were family members).  St. Agnes was fifteen-years-old when she joined the convent with her sister, St. Clare.  However, this was not a welcome life choice; her parents brutally tried to retrieve her and detain her.  Yet, many miracles and graces were poured out on her to withstand the assaults and to continue in carrying out her vocation according to God’s Will. 

St. Francis ultimately assigned the young nun to San Damiano, where she thrived and learned the life of poverty and prayer.  Eight years later, St. Agnes was placed by St. Francis as the abbess of a newly founded convent in Florence.  Her leadership made this new convent flourish. 

In August of 1253, St. Agnes was called to her sister’s side as she lay dying.  St. Clare solemnly pronounced that her sister, so prone to following her, would soon be dead, as well.  This prophecy came true months later when St. Agnes died on November 16, 1253.  She was buried in her convent in San Damiano until her resting place was changed so that she could remain with her sister, St. Clare, at the Church of Santa Chiara in Assisi. 

Practical Take-Away: Parents & Vocations

Not only is it difficult to be young and be a Catholic—but sometimes it is hard to be our parent’s children and be Catholic.  So often parents who raise their children in the Faith are flabbergasted when that Faith begins to take profound root in their hearts and lives.  God asks many of us to heed Him, to trust His Son, Jesus.  Sometimes doing this looks downright odd.  Sometimes that means seriously considering religious life, the priesthood, or declining comfortable salaries for humble family life.  These decisions, too often, like St. Agnes’ decision, are not only unwelcome by our folks, but lambasted. 

When trying to navigate the muddy waters of honoring your parents but heeding God’s Call, it would serve us all well to consider that while your earthly mother and father may sometimes be disappointed, recall that you have a Heavenly Father who will not only watch over you, but your folks, as well.  In time, all becomes clear.  In time, we all will better understand.  But that is all “in time;” first, we must take the leap of faith.  It may look foolish, but so does most of the other options that your mom and dad likely had picked out for you.  The question is not, “Is it normal?;” instead the question is, “Is this God’s Will?”  If the answer is, “Yes,” then let nothing stand in your way!