Agnes was a beautiful young girl of wealthy family and therefore had many suitors of high rank. Legend holds that the young men, slighted by Agnes’s resolute devotion to religious purity, submitted her name to the authorities as a follower of Christianity.

The Prefect Sempronius condemned her to death. When led out to die she was tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his sword and beheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat. It is also said that the blood of Agnes poured to the stadium floor where other Christians soaked up the blood with cloths.

Since the Middle Ages, Saint Agnes has been represented with a lamb, both the symbol of her virginal innocence. She is also represented as a young girl in robes, holding a palm branch in her hand with a lamb at her feet or in her arms.