St. Agnes, whose name means lamb, is celebrated every year in Rome through a beautiful tradition that many have never even heard of. The Pope observes a time-honored tradition of blessing two lambs on the feast of St. Agnes. It is customary for the lambs to both be under one year old and carried in to see the Pope in baskets. One lamb wears a white crown which symbolizes the purity of St. Agnes and the other lamb wears a red crown to symbolize her martyrdom. The wool from those lambs is then used to create a pallium for each new Archbishop.
I find this tradition to be so impactful given that we don't know much about this small child saint, yet her littleness has brought about a century old tradition that clothes the great Archbishops of our Church. Consider this, the meaning of her namesake and the example that she gave of her purity brings forth a yearly custom of blessing little lambs and calls us back to seek innocent and pure love with Christ.
This feast day can be honored in many ways in your home through prayer, sweet lamb crafts, books, etc. The way we like to welcome St. Agnes into our domestic church is through a meaningful dinner, garlic lamb chops, and prayer. Remembering her over a family dinner and asking her intercession reminds us to imitate her love for Christ through purity and self-sacrifice.
I invite you to make dinner alongside me by using this recipe! Its fragrant ingredients will naturally call everyone to the kitchen.
To learn more about why you should make lamb for Holy Thursday, read this.
And of course you know the connection between lamb and Easter, but if you'd like to know more read this.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
1 package of fresh rosemary, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsps olive oil
4 lamb loin chop