Agnes of Rome  

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Saint Agnes (291304; feast day: January 21) is a virgin martyr and saint of the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins.

She was 12 years old when, during one of the persecutions in Rome, she was ordered to make the obligatory sacrifice to the emperor and to take a pagan husband. She refused both orders, expressing her wish to maintain her virginity for Christ's sake.

The judge wanted to put Agnes to shame and had her stripped naked in public (according to the legend, some people who gazed to closely were blinded by her beauty or by a curse from heaven) and thrown into prison. But her hair grew during the night to such a length that it covered her nudity. She was then sent to a brothel, but somehow managed to keep her virginity there. When the authorities realized that the girl could not be turned away from her faith, they ordered her to be burned alive, but the flames did not touch her. Finally the executioner cut her throat with a sword.

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