April 20: St. Agnes of Montepulciano
St. Agnes of Montepulciano was born in 13th-century Tuscany. At the age of six, Agnes began trying to convince her parents to allow her to join a convent. She was finally admitted to the Dominican convent at Montepulciano at age nine despite it generally being against Church law to allow a child so young to join.
Agnes’ reputation for holiness attracted other sisters, and she became an abbess at the unheard of age of 15. She insisted on greater austerities in the abbey. She lived on bread and water for 15 years, slept on the ground and used a stone for a pillow.
It was said that she had visions of the Virgin Mary and that in her visions angels gave her Communion. She also had a vision in which she was holding the infant Jesus. When she awoke from her trance, she she was holding the small gold crucifix the infant Jesus was wearing.
She died in 1317. Miracles have been reported at her tomb. When her body was moved to a church years after her death, it was found incorrupt.
She was canonized in 1726.