Tour of St. Simon & St. Jude Church


Alice Charlotte Trower
18th. May 1850
13th. September
Maker: Percy Bacon
St. Dorothy
Virgin & Child
St. Agnes
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints by David Hugh Farmer

St. Dorothy (Dorothea) (d. c.313), virgin martyr. The early martyrologies place her death at Caesarea in Cappadocia during the persecution of Diocletian. There are no historical details of her life; her surviving Acts are legendary but influential. They tell of a young lawyer called Theophilus who jeered at her on her way to execution for refusing to marry or to worship idols. He asked to send him fruits from the garden (of paradise) where she was going. She agreed to do so and prayed just before her execution. An angel then appeared and gave Theophilus a basket containing three apples and three roses. He was converted and was martyred, also under Diocletian. Her popularity is Western rather than Eastern centered in Italy and Germany. In England she seems to have been less prominent than some of the other legendary virgin-martyrs. Dorothy's body is belived to rest at the church in Rome dedicated to her. Her usual attribute in art is a basket of heavenly fruit and flowers. Feast: 6 Febraury.

St. Agnes (d. at Rome c. 350), virgin martyr. The earliest witness to her cult is the Depositio Martyrum of 354. About the same time a basilica was built in her honour over her grave in the Via Nomentana. Her name was in the Roman Canon; her feast was kept in numerous churches of both East and West from early times. Her 5th-century Acts, wrongly attributed to Ambrose, made her a girl of only thirteen who refused marriage because of her dedication to Christ. Calmly and deliberately she preferred death to any violation of her consecrated virginity. She was killed by the sword, i.e. through piercing her throat. Though the resemblance of the word agnus (= lamb) to Agnes, her principal iconographic emblem is a lamb. On her feast are blessed the lambs which produce the wool from which pallia for arch-bishops are woven by the nuns of St. Agnes's convent in Rome. Feast: 21 January; formerly the Roman calendar contained a second feast in her honour, on 28 January. This seems to have commemorated her birthday rather than her octave.

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