Porta Santa della Chiesa di Sant'Agnese di Montepulciano
“Holy Door of the Church of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano"...
St. Agnes of Montepulciano was born in 13th-century Tuscany. At the age of six, Agnes began trying to convince her parents to allow her to join a convent. She was finally admitted to the Dominican convent at Montepulciano at age nine. Agnes' reputation for holiness attracted other sisters, and she became an abbess at the unheard of age of 15. She insisted on greater austerities in the abbey. She lived on bread and water for 15 years, slept on the ground and used a stone for a pillow. It was said that she had visions of the Virgin Mary and that in her visions angels gave her Communion. Agnes also had a vision in which she was holding the infant Jesus. When she awoke from her trance, she was holding the small gold crucifix the infant Jesus was wearing. She died in 1317. Miracles have been reported at her tomb. When her body was moved to a church years after her death, it was found incorrupt. She was canonized in 1726. The saint’s shrine is located facing the 16th century ramparts of the Porta al Prato of Montepulciano. It opens into the lower part of the historical center and completed in 1306. The hill was chosen by the saint to build her church following visions of a stairway to heaven, it was originally occupied by brothels. Agnes purchased the land herself for 1,200 lire. The hill was transformed from a sinful location to a holy and reverent community. The church, monumental cloister, and its convent are now totally transformed and host the incorrupt body of Saint Agnes.
- Dino Carbetta
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