Few of the blessed have had so wholehearted and lasting a popularity in the Church as St. Agnes, the little Roman girl martyred at the age of twelve over sixteen hundred years ago. Yet very little is known about Agnes who died for refusing to worship false gods or to give up her voluntary vow of virginity. In this biography Louise Andre-Delastre shows that so ancient, so lasting and so official a devotion must rest on a basis of facts, and cities the five major sources for them. These are an epitaph by Pope Damasus, carved before 384, a discourse by St. Ambrose in Milan about 376, a poem by the Spaniard Prudentius in 405 and the Legendary Greek and Latin ""Acts or Passions"", of uncertain date and even more uncertain authenticity. Examining each in turn, the author tells and re-tells the story of Agnes' martyrdom the last weeks of the persecution under Diocletian. In a day when another young girl. Maria Goretti, a modern martyr for purity, is known as the ""Agnes of the twentieth century"", this new biography of her forerunner St. Agnes should prove both interesting and appealing.