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Article: April 20 + Saint Agnes of Montepulciano

April 20 + Saint Agnes of Montepulciano - VENXARA®

April 20 + Saint Agnes of Montepulciano

Agnes was born in 1268 into a noble family in the village of Gracciano, Italy. A miracle occurred to demonstrate that she was a predestined soul, for it is recalled that burning torches appeared to illuminate her crib on the day she was born. Agnes was no more than four years old when she began seeking solitude where she could pray privately for many hours to Jesus, whom she already loved.

At the age of nine, Agnes told her parents that she desired to enter the Dominican monastery at nearby Montepulciano. Both parents initially opposed Agnes’ wish, so she prayed that God might change their opinions. In a short time she entered the convent and began living under the rule of St. Augustine. The sisters she lived with soon recognized that Agnes appeared more like an angelic spirit than a human being. She lived an austere life, sleeping on the ground with a stone for a pillow, and fasted on bread and water.

Agnes had many miraculous experiences during her life. She was known to levitate up to two feet in the air while praying. She received Communion from an angel, and had visions of the Virgin Mary. She held the infant Christ in her arms and when she woke from her trance she found she was holding the small gold crucifix the Christ child had worn. She could feed the convent with a handful of bread, once she’d prayed over it. Where she knelt to pray, violets, lilies and roses would suddenly bloom. While being treated for her terminal illness, she brought a drowned child back from the dead. At the site of her treatment, a spring welled up that did not help her health, but healed many other people.

Agnes died at the age of forty-nine. The Dominican friars attempted to obtain balsam (or myrrh) to embalm her body. It was found, however, to be producing a sweet odor on its own, and her limbs remained supple. When her body was moved years after her death to the monastery church, it was found to be incorrupt. Some fifty years later, a Dominican friar, the Blessed Raymond of Capua, who served as confessor to St. Catherine of Siena, wrote an account of Agnes' life. He described her body as still appearing as if she were alive.

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