Patron saint of pre-novices


A short history

Caterina di Favarone di Offreduccio, sister of Clare, was born in Assisi (Perugia) in 1197. At the age of fifteen, she wanted to follow her sister, embraced the ideal of Franciscan poverty and changed her name to Agnes. With superhuman strength, she resisted the flattery, threats and blows of those close to her who tried to dissuade her from her plan. After a ten-year stay at San Damiano, she was sent as abbess to Florence, to the Monticelli monastery. She guided the sisters with prudence and love, setting an example of austere poverty and assiduous work. She was also comforted by consolations and heavenly visions. Back in Assisi, she witnessed the death of her sister and died shortly afterwards, on 16 November 1253. Benedict XIV declared her a saint on 6 November 1751, thus confirming her ancient cult. Her body lies in the basilica of Sainte-Claire.


What this commemoration tells us

St Agnes, the younger sister of St Clare, is the patron saint of pre-novices, as a model of detachment from the family and fidelity to the divine call. Indeed, Agnes fought courageously to remain faithful to her vocation, and we all need her intercession and help to remain faithful to the Lord, but it is especially young women beginning their religious life who most need the courage to break their ties with the world and leave their families.


How to pray on this day

We pray to Saint Agnes to obtain for us the same courage and fidelity as hers to follow and live our vocation and to triumph over all the obstacles that our all too natural love for the family can sow in our path. Let us pray in particular for the young people who are beginning their vocational journey, that they may pursue it with joy and fidelity. Let us compare ourselves to Saint Agnes and enthusiastically say YES to the Lord.