(d. 304). A martyr for the faith, Agnes died at the age of twelve in Rome during the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian. She is said to have been tortured and executed after refusing to worship the heathen gods. Her name means “pure” in Greek and “lamb” in Latin. Her principal iconograph is a lamb. In Rome, her feast day has been an occasion for the blessing of two lambs whose wool is woven into a scarf, known as the pallium, which is used by the Pope to invest archbishops. Gregory the Great sent such a pallium to Augustine of Canterbury, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. The coat of arms of the Archbishops of Canterbury has a representation of the pall. Agnes is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Jan. 21.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.