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Orthodox icon of Saint Agnes, Virgin-martyr of Rome.
Commemorated January 21st.
The holy Virgin Martyr Agnes was born at Rome during the third century.When she refused to enter into marriage with the son of the city official Symphronius, one of his associates revealed to him that Agnes was a Christian. The wicked Eparch ordered that she be stripped and and sent to a brothel. But the Lord would not permit the saint to suffer shame. As soon as she was disrobed, long thick hair grew from her head covering her body. An angel was also appointed to guard her. Standing at the door of the brothel, he shone with a heavenly light which blinded anyone who came near her. The son of the Eparch also came to defile the virgin, but fell down dead before he could touch her. Through the fervent prayer of St Agnes, he was restored to life. After seeing this miracle, 160 men believed in God and were baptized, and then suffered martyrdom. St Agnes was given over to torture. They tried to burn her as a witch, but the saint remained unharmed in the fire, praying to God. After this they killed her by stabbing her in the throat. Through her death at the age of thirteen, St Agnes escaped everlasting death and inherited eternal life. The holy virgin martyr was buried by her parents in a field they owned outside of Rome. Many miracles occurred at the grave of St Agnes. Her holy and grace-filled relics rest in the church built in her honor, along the Via Nomentana.