St. Agnes's Eve

St. Agnes's Eve

January 20
The eve of St. Agnes's Day (January 21) has long been associated with various superstitions about how young girls might discover the identity of their future husbands. According to one such belief, a girl who went to bed without any supper on this night would dream of the man she was to marry. John Keats used this legend as the basis for his well-known poem, "The Eve of St. Agnes," in which a young maid dreams of her lover and wakes to find him standing at her bedside.
St. Agnes herself was martyred sometime during the fourth century, when she may have been only 12 or 13 years old, because she had consecrated herself to Christ and refused to marry. She was later named the patron saint of young virgins. In art St. Agnes is often represented with a lamb or sometimes with a dove with a ring in its beak.
SOURCES:
BkDays-1864, vol. I, p. 140
BkFest-1937, p. 180
BkHolWrld-1986, Jan 21
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 28
DictDays-1988, p. 100
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 28
FestSaintDays-1915, p. 20
OxYear-1999, p. 44
SaintFestCh-1904, p. 75

St. Agnes’s Eve

when marriageable girls foresee their future husbands. [Br. Lit.: “The Eve of St. Agnes” in Norton, 686–693]
References in periodicals archive ?
Agnes; the story, which he probably got from Boccaccio, is based on the medieval belief that on St.