Around the year 1268 in the Tuscan village of Gracchiano-Vecchio, a child was born to a well-to-do couple, a little girl who was to become one of the great women saints of the Dominican Order.
Attracted to prayer from an early age, even as a child Agnes would spend hours on her knees praying the Our Father and Hail Mary. At nine years of age, she convinced her parents to place her in the nearby Franciscan monastery at Montelpuciano. In the austerity of monastic life, she advanced in virtue by leaps and bounds.
Five years later, Agnes was called upon to leave Montepulciano to assist in the foundation of a new convent in Proceno. As soon as it was known that Agnes was at Proceno, several girls offered themselves as postulants. With special papal dispensation, the fifteen-year-old Agnes was elected abbess.
From that day onwards, she redoubled her austerities, living for fifteen years on bread and water, and sleeping on the ground with a stone pillow.
Still, the inhabitants of Montelpuciano pined for their now famous saint, and on the plans to build a new convent for her, she returned. The establishment flourished under her rule and guidance, and she remained prioress of this convent until her death.
In her later years, she suffered from a painful illness but did not allow this condition to interfere with her duties.
She died at the age of forty-nine.
DAILY QUOTE for May 18, 2021
As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty.