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Dateline: Rome, January 21, 304 AD
The young virgin known as Agnes was martyred for her faith today. Beautiful in looks and spirit, she had captured the attention of Phocus, son of the Prefect Sempronius, and when she rejected his advances, saying that she was already betrothed to one even more powerful, Phocus revealed her to the authorities as a Christian. She was arrested and led to the temple of the Vestal Virgins, where she refused to comply with pagan practice and was threatened with rape. She was then led, naked through the streets to a house of ill-repute where all those who attempted to assault her were struck blind by protective and avenging angels.
Next, still professing her love for Christ, she was tried as a witch, was found guilty, and was taken to the stake so that she could be burned; however the bundles of sticks could not be set alight, and so her executioner took out his sword and struck off her head.
Her youth (she was thirteen years of age) and beauty, her steadfast faith, and the brutality of her death at the hands of her Roman tormentors so impressed the crowd that many of them converted to Christianity on the spot.