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 Titular Window

A titular window is a special type of window that portrays the life of the patron or patroness of a particular church. Not all churches have titular windows. The St. Agnes Titular Window is in the form of a rose window which are a common feature found in many cathedrals around the world.  St. Agnes Cathedral's rose window located  over the main entrance is made up of multiple sections  framed in stone tracery.    At the center of the window is a portrait of  St. Agnes (Center Section) surrounded by "petals".  The story of St. Agnes' life and death starts at the "petal" at the lower left and continues clockwise.

St. Agnes of Rome, Patroness of our Parish and Diocese was a young girl of 13 when she was martyred around  304 A.D. during the Christian Persecutions of Emperor Diocletian.  Much of what we know about St. Agnes comes to us through legend as well as the writings of St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, Pope Damasus and the poet Prudentius.  

The popular legend of St. Agnes states that Procop, son of  a Roman Governor had promised her many riches if she would only marry him.   Agnes refused saying she was already espoused to Jesus.  In anger, he turned her over to his father for being a Christian. 

The Governor also promised her fame and fortunes if she would only turn against Jesus.  He had her brought to the Temple of  Minerva where she refused to worship the pagan goddess. (Section 1) 

Knowing what may happen to her many other men approached Agnes apparently out of pity and asked her to marry them.   (Section 2) 

The governor continued to try and  force Agnes to change her mind. He had her publicly stripped of her clothes but her hair is said to have grown to cover her nakedness from the stares of onlookers.  (Section 3)  

The governor then threatened her with many forms of torture including fire. (Section 4)

When these failed he had her thrown into a brothel where many men attempted to take advantage of her. 
One of these men is said to have fallen to the ground blind when he looked lustfully upon Agnes. (Section 5).  

 Through all of this Agnes, miraculously retained her purity. A mere girl and daughter of a wealthy Roman family
(Section 6) she was eventually ordered executed by the Governor.

St. Agnes was martyred by means of a sword. (Section 7) 

St. Agnes was buried along the Via Nomentana where the Emperor Constantine’s daughter had a basilica built in her honor
50 years after her death.  

St. Agnes is frequently represented holding a lamb because her name is similar to the Latin word agnus which means lamb.  Traditionally lambs are also a symbol of virginity.   Each year on her feast day, January 21st, 2 lambs are blessed in Rome
and their wool is woven into palliums, a stole worn over the shoulders. Palliums are given by the pope to archbishops and
some bishops as a symbol of their role as shepherds of the faithful. 

St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, was highly revered in the early church and to this day her name is mentioned in the
First Eucharistic Prayer. 

St. Agnes' feast day is January 21st.

Additional Information 


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We, the parish of Saint Agnes Cathedral, a community of believers, proclaim the presence of Christ in the

world through Word, Sacrament and deeds.  Affirming the sanctity of each person, we minister to all
by committing ourselves to renewal, formation, and living the Gospel. 

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Rockville Centre, NY 11570
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