SAINT AGNES, A LAMB AGAINST WOLVES
A text written and translated by Loris Cozzolino
On the 21st of january the Catholic Church remembers saint Agnes of Rome, a witness of Jesus during the great persecution made by the Roman emperor Diocletian.
The tradition says that she was a very young girl and a boy, son of a rich family, fell in love with her.
Agnes refused the boy’s proposal because she wanted to consacrate herself to Jesus.
When the boy, so confused and angry, discovered Agnes’s Christianity, he decided to report her to the authorities.
The prefect of Rome ordered the soldiers to take off Agnes’ clothes and take her to the brothel so that the clients could rape her.
The story says that the Good Lord made her hair grow suddenly and long enough to cover her naked body.
The brothel clients understood her willing force and purity so they didn’t look at her at all.
Lastly, at the end of all of these challenges, the soldiers, angry for her strong faith, decided to punish her by cutting her throat just like a lamb.
Agnes’ story is so sad and actual, it is a story of violence and arrogance, the story of thousands of lambs who die everyday in the frozen snows of Bosnia or of those that run away from fire and logging of the Amazonian forest.
So many innocent lambs suffer in our cities or just outside our homes but nobody can hear them bleat.
Only the Lord, the first Lamb, can hear their voices because He lives in them.
Agnes’ body lies in the catacombs in Rome. That catacomb took her name. Her little head is kept in the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone in the famous roman square, Piazza Navona.
Every year, on the day of Agnes’ celebration, the Pope receives two lambs to be raised up so that their wool can be used to create the white palliums designated to the bishops of Catholic Church.
This tradition was established as a way of helping Christians remember that they are called to stay always on the side of lambs and never on that of wolves.