Saint Agnes of Montepulciano

Saint Agnes of Montepulciano receiving the Holy Eucharist from an Angel domain

Saint Agnes of Montepulciano (+1317) is one of the ‘incorruptibles’. She was born in the picturesque cliff-top Italian city on January 28th, 1268, the same day as her fellow Dominican, Thomas Aquinas (whose birth year was likely 1225). The future Jesuit and Cardinal, Saint Robert Bellarmine was also born in Montepulciano, and the region, in southern Tuscany to this day produces some of the finest of Italian wines. I have friends visiting over there as I write, likely sipping some of that vino on a terrace somewhere, as I look out my window as minor snow squalls here in Canada.

We take what God gives us, and the incorruptibility given to Saint Agnes is one reserved to only a small number of saints, a charism given by God as a sign to the rest of us of the future resurrection of the body, as well as its original integrity and immortality. She went straight as an arrow in her earthly pilgrimage towards heaven, joining the Franciscan convent when she was 9, by special dispensation (even back then, there were laws for when one might get married, or give oneself to religious life). Frequently ill, she lived a life of austerity and fidelity to the rule, with a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, which was growing in those days, offering all to God. She was blessed also with the gift of healing, visions and prophecies.

She was soon leading her convent, still young, and, after a heavenly visit from Saint Dominic Guzman was moved to lead her nuns to become Dominicans. After a full but mostly hidden life, Mother Agnes fell ill in 1316, and no cure was given for her who had cured so many others. She accepted her death peacefully, as she did all else, and went to God on this April 20th in 1317, at the age of 49, serendipitously, the same age that Thomas Aquinas had died in 1274. They rejoice together in heaven, and may they intercede for us and our world, that all may see the truth, and live it. +