About Our Stained Glass Windows
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Saint Agnes was twelve years old when she was told to obey the persecution laws of Diocletian, who was the governor of the Roman Empire in the East. At very early age she vowed virginity, and it was this vow that later cost her life. Although she was still very young, she understood the risk she was exposing herself to, by professing the Catholic Faith and frequently receiving Communion.
One day while returning from her lessons at the house of a Christian tutor, horsemen turned and raced down the street at breakneck speed. Since there were no sidewalks, Agnes was forced to jump into a doorway, just escaping the hoofs of the horses.
Procopius, the pagan son of the Prefect, seeing her standing there, pulled his horse to a halt and followed Agnes home. Several days later he appeared at her home, laden with precious gifts and countless treasures, and asked for Agnes’ hand in marriage.
With Procopius, it was love at first sight, but Agnes’ attitude was entirely different. She resisted him and was very much disturbed by the passion he showed in his speech and actions. Finally the time came when she had to make her decision. It was either God and the eternal rewards of Heaven, or Procopius, who could only give her earthly pleasures and riches. She rejected Procopius and told him she had pledged her love to someone much fairer than he, and that she could never love him no matter how she tried.
The Prefect commanded his slaves to find this Man no matter what hardships they had to endure. After some time one of the slaves supplied sufficient proof that Agnes was a Christian. The Prefect was delighted to hear this and thought that he held her fate in the palm of his hand. She would either accept his son in marriage or die, a martyr for her faith.
When taken before the Prefect and the other officials, much to their chagrin, Agnes readily proclaimed her Faith. She was condemned to be burned at the stake. They stripped her of her garments, but God and his angels protected her purity by slaying anyone who dare to gaze upon her with lust. The wood having been lit, the flames parted leaving Agnes untouched, and burning those who stood near. The Prefect, upon seeing this, ordered that Agnes be beheaded immediately. The executioner, after an encouraging word from Agnes, struck the blow severing her head from her body, and sending her soul to join her everlasting Bridegroom in Heaven.
In the stained glass windows the palm denotes her martyrdom, the lamb her purity. At her feet are flames referring to her sufferings, and a dove holding a ring with its beak. This has reference to her betrothal to her Lord, Jesus, and her refusal to marry the Prefect’s son.