St. Agnes (c. 292–c. 304) is one of the first women venerated in the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy of saints. She was believed to have been martyred at the age of 12 because she refused to marry the son of a Roman official, instead declaring herself committed to Christ during an era when Christianity was still an underground religion. In the decades after her death, Agnes’s tomb became a place of pilgrimage. Renowned for her heroism, she is one of the most revered martyrs. We celebrate St Agnes’ feast day January 21.