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Saint Agatha (of Sicily)

A.K.A. Agatha of Catania; Agatha of Palermo; Agueda

Born: c. 231 in Prison at Catania or Palermo, Sicily

Died: c. 251 in Catania, Sicily; Martyred by Being Rolled on Coals

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church; Easter Orthodox Churches; Oriental Orthodoxy; Anglican Communion

Canonized: Pre-congregation by tradition; confirmed by Pope Gregory I

Feast Day: February 5

Patronages: Against Breast Cancer; Against Breast Disease; Against Earthquakes; Against Eruptions of Mount Etna; Against Fire; Against Natural Disasters; Against Sterility; Against Volcanic Eruptions; Bell-Founders; Fire Prevention; Jewelers; Martyrs; Nurses; Rape Victims; Single Laywomen; Torture Victims; Wet-Nurses
Places: Malta; San Marino; Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Belgium; Sainte Agathe des Monts, Quebec, Canada; France; Germany; Italy; Netherlands; Spain; 

Representation: Breasts on a Dish; Crown of Flowers; Embers; Knife; Loaves of Bread on a Dish; Pincers; Shears; Tongs; Veil; Virgin Martyr Wearing a Veil and Bearing her Severed Breasts on a Silver Platter; Palm

Saint Agatha, an illustrious Sicilian virgin, noble of birth, but more so for her heroic virtue, was martyred (at Catania in 251 during the Dioclecian persecution) for refusing the solicitations of a Roman senator.

Her martyrdom and early cult are historically certain but the details are legendary.  According to a legend of the 6th century, the Roman senator, whose name was Quintanius, had Saint Agatha subjected to various cruel tortures including cutting off her breasts.  When she continued to resist, she was thrown upon red-hot coals.  At this point a violent earthquake shook the town.  Quintanius, fearing that the people would rise up in protest, had Agatha returned to prison, where she died from her tortures.

In addition to being patroness of nurses, Saint Agatha is invoked against earthquakes and diseases of the breast.

For Further Information About Saint Agatha, See CatholicSaints.Info Website

Prayer: Lord God, Saint Agatha always pleased You by her chastity and in the end by her martyrdom.  May she obtain for us merciful pardon for our sins.  Amen.

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