St. Agatha, also known as Agatha of Sicily, is one of the most highly venerated virgin martyrs of the Catholic Church. She is believed to be born around 231 in either Catania or Palermo, Sicily

From her very early years, the beautiful Agatha became a consecrated virgin. But that did not stop men from desiring her.

Quintianus desired Agatha and because he was of high diplomatic ranking, thought he could force her to turn away from her vow. Agatha consistently turned down his proposals.

Knowing she was a Christian during the persecution of Decius, he had her arrested and brought before the judge. He was the Judge.

Because she only reaffirmed her belief in God, Quintianus had her imprisoned in a brothel.

Agatha never lost her confidence in God, even after a month of assaults and efforts to get her to abandon her vow to God.

Enraged, Quintianus sent her off to a prison.

Agatha continued to proclaim Jesus as her Savior. So, Quintianus ordered her to be tortured.

Noticing Agatha was enduring the torture with a sense of cheer, he commanded she be subjected to a worse form of torture.

He then sent her back to prison with an order of no food or medical attention. But the Lord was her Sacred Physician and protector. Agatha then had a vision of the apostle, St. Peter, who healed her wounds through his prayers.

After four days, Quintianus had her stripped and rolled over hot coals mixed with sharp shards. When she was returned to prison, Agatha prayed, “Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul.”

Agatha is believed to have passed into Heaven around the year 251.

St. Agatha is the patron saint of Sicily, bellfounders, breast cancer patients, rape victims, and wet nurses. She is also considered a powerful intercessor when people suffer from fires. Her feast day is celebrated on February 5.

To learn more about St. Agatha: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=14

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