From BiblePortal Wikipedia

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography [1]

Agnes , M. a virgin, 12 or 13 years old, beheaded at Rome under Diocletian, celebrated by Ambrose ( de Offic. i. 41; de Virg. ad Marcell. i. 2), Jerome ( Ep. 97 ad demetriad. ), Augustine ( Serm. 273, 286, and 354), Sulp. Sever. ( Dial. ii. 14), Prudentius ( περὶ Στεφάνων , xiv.), Venant. Fortunatus ( Poem. vii. iii. 35), Aldhelm ( de Virgin. ); and by her Acta in Syriac in Assemani, Act. Mart. ii. 148 seq.; besides Acta falsely attributed to St. Ambrose, a doubtful homily of St. Maxim. Taurin., and some verses questionably assigned to pope Damasus. Her name is in the Carthag. Cal. of c. 450, Jan. 21; in Ruinart, p. 695. A church at Rome, in her honour, said to have been built under Constantine the Great, was repaired by Pope Honorius, A.D. 625–638, and another was built at Rome by Innocent X. (Assemani, Act. Mart. ii. 154, 155). See also Act. SS. Jan. 21, on which day her name stands in the black-letter calendar of our Prayer-book. Baeda and Usuard place it on Jan. 23; the Menolog. and Menaea on July 5.


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

saint and martyr. The acts of her martyrdom which have come down to us as written by Ambrose are spurious, and nothing further is known of her history than what Prudentius relates in the 14th Hymn, Περὶ Στεφάνων , and Ambrose in lib. 1, De Virginibus, which amounts to this: Agnes, at the early age of twelve or thirteen, having made profession of the Christian faith at Rome, was put to the torment to induce her to retract, in vain, and the judge ordered her to be conveyed to a house of ill fame, hoping that fear for her chastity might force her to recant. But God preserved his servant in this trial; for, according to the tradition, the first man who cast his eyes upon her was struck with blindness, and fell nearly dead at her feet! Nevertheless the saintly story adds that she was immediately delivered over to the executioner and was beheaded, according to Ruinart, in 304, or, according to Bollandus, in the preceding century. Augustine, in his 273d Sermon, declares that he made that discourse on the anniversary of the passion of St. Agnes, St. Fructuosus, and St. Eulogius, viz., Jan. 21st, on which day her festival is celebrated by the Latin, Greek, and English Churches. Many churches contend for the honor of possessing her remains. Butler, Lives of Saints, Jan. 21.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [3]

An unsophisticated maiden in Molière's L'École des Femmes , so unsophisticated that she does not know what love means.