"Our Mother, the Glorious Agnes"

These were the words that St. Catherine of Siena used to describe St. Agnes of Montepulciano, a Nun of the Order of Preachers who died in 1317.

Saint Agnes was born at Gracciano, Italy, in 1268 and entered a monastery at Montepulciano at the age of nine. At the age of fifteen by indult of the Holy See she was appointed superior of a monastery of nuns a Viterbo. In response to the entreaties of the people of Montepulciano she returned there in 1306 to take charge of a newly founded monastery which followed the Rule of Saint Augustine. A few years later she placed this monastery under the direction of the Order of Preachers and sought evangelical perfection according to the way of Saint Dominic. Agnes was devoted to the infant Jesus and the Virgin Mary, manifested the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and was a model of prayer and charity. She worked for civil peace and unity. Saint Catherine of Siena regarded her as her "glorious mother." She died on April 20, 1317.

St. Catherine of Siena had a great devotion to St. Agnes and when she went to Montepulciano to reverence the incorrupt body of St. Agnes tradition tells us that St. Agnes graciously lifted her foot as St. Catherine bent over to kiss it.

Church and monastery of St. Agnese di Montepulciano

For several years our Sr. Mary Martin has been translating St. Raymond of Capua's life of St. Agnes. The Latin is difficult and his style is very verbose!

An Italian website devoted to St. Agnes: