Saint Agnes of Montepulciano, also known as Agnes of Montepulciano or Agnes of Florence, was a 13th-century Dominican nun in Italy. Her life was marked by devotion, piety, and miracles, and she became an example of holiness for many generations. She is celebrated on April 20. Here is a detailed article on the life, works and canonization of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano.
Relic of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano on Relics.es
Early Life and Vocation: Agnes was born on January 28, 1268 in Gracciano, a small village near Montepulciano, in Tuscany, Italy. His parents, Benedetto Segni and Maria Villanucci, were pious peasants. From a young age, Agnes showed signs of holiness, such as a great love for prayer, contemplation, and charity towards the poor. At the age of nine, she asked her mother for permission to become a nun, a request which was granted.
Religious Life: Agnès entered the Dominican monastery of Montepulciano at the age of fourteen. She devoted her life to prayer, meditation, and the contemplative life. She strictly followed the Dominican rule, which advocated poverty, chastity, and obedience, as well as the pursuit of truth through prayer and study of the Scriptures.
Agnès was known for her humility and love towards her sisters. She held various positions within the convent, including that of prioress, where she exercised exemplary spiritual leadership. His monastic life was marked by mystical visions, ecstasies, and a deep union with God. His contemporaries witnessed his holiness and his miracles, including miraculous healings.
Foundation of the Monastery of Montepulciano: In 1306, Agnes had a vision in which she was ordered to found a new monastery in Montepulciano, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. With the support of her superior and the local bishop, she established the monastery in 1306. The Montepulciano monastery became a center of devotion, prayer, and fervent religious life.
There are many miracles recorded during this time with Saint Agnes of Montepulciano. She frequently multiplied the loaves, as Christ did in the gospels, to feed those in need. She had apparently reached such a level of holiness that invalids and those suffering from various types of mental illness would be restored to health simply by being brought into her presence.
The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Agnes and told her that she would one day find a great monastery based on faith in the highest and most undivided Trinity. She actually established the convent under Dominican rule, as she had been instructed by an angel around 1300, when the citizens of Montepulciano had built a new convent there, hoping to entice Agnes to them. She ruled until her death in 1317.
Agnes was known to have experienced several visions during her life. On the night of the Feast of the Assumption, the Blessed Virgin placed the Child Jesus in her arms. She encouraged Agnes to continue to suffer for Christ's sake - she was ill practically all her life. The Mother of God left with Saint Agnes of Montepulciano a small cross to console and strengthen her. This small cross is always shown with great solemnity to pilgrims, especially during the month of May. Mary also affirmed to Agnes a vision of Christ's suffering, which lasted three days.
To console Agnes, Mary appeared to her on the feast of the Purification while she was at Holy Mass. Mary told him that it was time that she had taken the Child Jesus to offer him in the Temple. Our Lady smiled gently, and gave Agnes her baby to hold and caress. St. Agnes was also known for receiving holy communion from an angel. She has experienced repeated yeasts, as noted above, and has worked miracles for the faithful in the area.
Death and Canonization: Agnes lived a life of prayer and service for 40 years at the monastery of Montepulciano.
Shortly before her death, Saint Agnes was sent to bathe in springs that had healing powers. The waters did nothing to help Agnes, although a new spring emerged near by which actually had healing power. It was given the name “The Water of Saint Agnes”. During this time, the saint prayed to a child who had recently drowned and called the child back.
Saint Agnes of Montepulciano then returned to the monastery, where she died on April 20, 1317, aged only 49. His body was incorruptible and a mysterious, fragrant liquid was seen on both his hands and feet. When Saint Catherine of Siena went to pray before the incorruptible body of Saint Agnes, the deceased saint raised her foot so that Saint Catherine kissed herself. She also revealed to Saint Catherine that they will both enjoy the same amount of glory in heaven.
Intact body of Saint Agnes in the sanctuary of Montepulciano.
Immediately after his death, many faithful went to his tomb to ask for his intercession and reported graces and healings. She was beatified in 1538 by Pope Paul III and canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.
Heritage: Saint Agnes of Montepulciano is venerated as the patron saint of Montepulciano, the city of birth, Dominican sisters, sick children, and women in labor. His example of consecrated life, devotion to God, and service to others continues to inspire believers throughout the world.