Spirituality for Today – Spring 2020 – Volume 24, Issue 3

Saint for January 2020
St. Agnes of Prague – January 2

It is difficult to determine the date of birth of Agnes, the daughter of Bohemian King Premysl Ottocar I. It was probably 1200, but some writings mention 1205 or 1211. Through her mother, Ottocar's second wife Constance—daughter of Hungarian King Bela III – she was related to St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, the wife of Thuringian Landgrave Ludwig IV. She was also related to St. Hedwig of Silesia, a princess and later a nun in Trzebnica in Lower Silesia. Agnes received a basic education from "the daughter of St. Hedgwig" according to her medieval biolgraphy. It is possible that she was brought up in the Trzebnica monastery. When she was just three years old, her father betrothed her to Boleslaus, son of Silesian Prince Henry I.

Agnes's father wanted to expand his political power through this marriage. However, her husband–to–be died very young and Agnes returned home. Later she learned writing and reading from Norbertine nuns in Doxan. From 1208 she stayed in Prague, at her parents' court. In 1220 a new political project was initiated in relation to her marriage. She was betrothed to Henry, the oldest son of German emperor Frederick II. However, due to a political turnaround, the engagement was annulled. Yet the emperor himself, when his wife died, want to marry Agnes.

Agnes decided on a different way of life. She founded a Claretian nunnery in 1233 and entered it a year later. She corresponded with St. Clare and strengthened other nuns in faith with her example and teaching. She died around 1282.

She was canonized on November 12, 1989.

God, You called St. Agnes to a life devoted to You.
Let her prayer support the Church in the Czech Republic
and help it grow in faith and love for You.
Through Christ our Lord.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives