For our March Franciscan Calendar of Saints, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity highlight Saint Agnes of Prague to whom Saint Clare wrote: I am filled with such joys at your well-being, happiness and marvelous progress through which, I understand, you have advanced in the course you have undertaken to win the prize of heaven. And I sigh with such happiness in the Lord because I know you see that you make up most wonderfully what is lacking both in me and in the other sisters in following the footprints of the poor and humble Jesus Christ.”
A Life of Relationships… including Canonized Saints
- In 1205, on the eve of the feast of the holy virgin and martyr Agnes, a daughter was born to Primislaus Ottokar I, the king of Bohemia. St Agnes of Prague received the name Agnes in baptism.
- Her mother was an aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
- According to the custom of the time, the king’s daughter was betrothed at the age of three years to the son of the Duke of Silesia. She was sent to be educated at the Silesain convent at Trebnitz, where St Hedwig was superior at that time.
- Pope Gregory IX himself intervened after arranged marriages for Agnes did not come to be, so that she could follow her heart as a Poor Clare Nun. St. Clare responded to the request for a monastery in Bohemia and sent five sisters from the Convent of St. Damiano in Assisi, to Prague. Agnes and seven other young women of the local royal families entered the new convent together with these sisters.
Photo: Icon of Soul Friends, St. Clare of Assisi and St. Agnes of Prague written by Sr. Roberta Cusack, OSF
Within a short time Agnes was respected by her fellow nuns for her virtue in living her call as a consecrated religious. If you’d like to read more about correspondence between St. Agnes and St. Clare, this article on their letters by the San Luis Rey Fraternity is a delightful read. click here.
St. Agnes of Prague, who encouraged other young women to embrace the consecrated life, pray for us!