St. Agnes of Bohemia c. 1205-1282
She was the daughter of Ottocar, King of Bohemia and Constance of Hungary, a relative of St. Elizabeth. At an early age she was sent to the monastery of Treinitz, where at the hands of the Cistercian religious she received the education that became her rank. She was betrothed to Frederick II, Emperor of Germany; but when the time arrived for the solemnization of the marriage, it was impossible to persuade her to abandon the resolution she had made of consecrating herself to the service of God in the sanctuary of the cloister. Frederick is reported to have been furious that the marriage was called off, but he quickly accepted and supported Agnes's decision, realizing that she had a higher calling.
She decided to devote her life to religious works, with the help of Pope Gregory IX. She became a member of the Franciscan Poor Clares, a religious order founded by Clare of Assisi (with whom she corresponded for over two decades but never met in person). On land donated by her brother, Wenceslaus I, she founded the Hospital of St. Francis (ca. 1232-33) and two convents where the Franciscan friars and Clare nuns working at the hospital resided.
Taking the vow of poverty, she cooked for and took care of the lepers and paupers personally even after becoming the Mother Superior of the Prague Clares in 1234. She was also granted some divine visions, and is even said to have foretold the military victory of her brother Wenceslas against Austria. Agnes inspired both men and women, and it is said that many other privileged women, wishing to emulate her, became Poor Clares, also devoting themselves to serving God and the community.
She was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II on November 12, 1989. Her feast is kept on the 2nd of March.
This website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.
The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.
You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.
Visitors to our website since January 2014.
Pop-up names are online now.
The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.