St. Agnes was born into a wealthy, Christian family and lived in the third century. She was pursued by many men because of her beauty. However, she had vowed to God to never stain her purity at the age of 10, and would tell men that her only spouse was Jesus. During this time period, girls were married at the age of 12. Her vow of virginity made many young men angry, and they would turn her name into the authorities as a follower of Christ (illegal at the time).
When the governor’s son tried to persuade her with gifts, she repeatedly told him that she made a promised to God. She told him, “The Lord of the Universe is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!” The governor’s son chained her and her lovely face shone with joy. He also sent her to a place of prostitution. Some versions of her story state that Agnes’s hair grew long instantly to cover her entire body, and all the men who attempted to rape the beautiful virgin, or looked at her in a lustful way were immediately struck blind.
Unsatisfied, the governor’s son had Agnes condemned to death, but she was as happy as a young bride on her wedding day.
It is said that before death, the young girl was drug naked through the streets. St. Agnes was tied to a stake to be burnt, but either the wood would not burn or the flames parted away from her. Eventually, an officer behead her. She died a virgin-martyr at the age of 12 or 13.
St. Agnes is widely known as the patron saint of young girls. She is also the patron saint of chastity and rape survivors. (And has a similar story to St. Maria Goretti)