St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

agathaSt. Agatha’s family lived in Sicily and were very rich and important. Young, beautiful and rich, she lived a life dedicated to God. St. Agatha refused marriage proposals from all the men who asked. Quintian the magistrate believed himself to be of high enough rank to be worthy of her affection, but she refused him also.

When Decius announced the edicts against Christians, Quintian tried to profit by Agatha’s sanctity; he planned to blackmail her into sex in exchange for not charging her for being a Christian. She still refused him. He then turned Saint Agatha over to a brothel, but she refused to accept customers. After rejecting Quintian’s advances, she was beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and St. Agatha’s breasts were crushed and cut off. She told the judge, “Cruel man, have you forgotten your mother and the breast that nourished you, that you dare to mutilate me this way?” God gave her the relief she needed in the form of a vision of Saint Peter who then healed her wounds.

Imprisoned further, then rolled on live coals, she was near death when an earthquake struck. In the destruction, the magistrate’s friend was crushed, which frightened the magistrate and he fled. Brave, Saint Agatha thanked God for an end to her pain, and died.

Catania, Sicily is the location of the martyrdom of Saint Agatha as well as her birthplace. 
She is their patron saint. Legend says that carrying her veil, taken from her tomb in Catania, in procession has averted eruptions of Mount Etna. 

Saint Agatha is the patron saint of Malta, they prayed for her intercession which saved Malta from Turkish invasion in 1551.

St. Agatha’s Feast Day is February 5. She is the patron saint of Ali, Sicily, bellfounders, breast cancer, bakers, Catania, Sicily, against fire, earthquakes, eruptions of Mount Etna, fire, jewelers, martyrs, natural disaters, nurses, Palermo, Sicily, rape victims, single laywomen, sterility, torture victims, volcanic eruptions, wetnurses, Zamarramala, Spain.

REFLECTION:

Purity is a gift of God: we can gain it and preserve it only by care and diligence in avoiding all that may prove an incentive to sin.

PRAYER:

May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray, for she found favor with you by the courage of her martyrdom and the merit of her chastity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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