Saint of the Day ~ April 20

SAINT AGNES of MONTEPULCIANO (1268-1317), foundress and abbess

Today, the Church honors Saint Agnes of Montepulciano, who, from a very early age in life, devoted herself to serving the Church as God’s Spirit led her.

Agnes was born in the year 1268 in Tuscany, Italy. A pious child, she began asking her parents at the age of six to allow her to join a convent. She was finally admitted to the Dominican convent at Montepulciano at the age of nine.

Agnes’ reputation for holiness attracted other sisters, and four years later, after receiving a special commission from Pope Martin IV, she assisted in the foundation of a monastery in the city of Proceno in central Italy, and became its abbess at the unheard of age of fifteen.

Spiritual maturity came at an early age for Agnes, for she insisted on greater austerities for the Order at the abbey. For herself, she embraced the personal mortifications of living on bread and water for 15 years, sleeping on the ground and using a stone for a pillow.

In 1298, she returned to Montepulciano to work in a new Dominican convent, and was the Order’s Prioress of the house for the remaining years of her life. After a prolonged illness, Mother Agnes, as she was now called, died on April 20, 1317.

Agnes of Montepulciano was canonized a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. Her incorrupt remains are interred at the Dominican church of Orvieto, Italy.

We commemorate her feastday on April 20.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, catholic.org/saints and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women)

“Lord, pour upon us the Spirit of Wisdom and Love with which you filled Your servant, Saint Agnes. By serving You as she did, may we please You with our faith and our actions.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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