Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Agatha, Faithful Servant and Martyr for Jesus Christ

Saint Agatha

Saint Agatha Holy Card

(Franciscan Media) As in the case of Saint Agnes, Virgin Martyr, Patron of the Children of Mary she too was martyred for Jesus Christ during the persecution of Emperor Decius in 251

Agatha was from a rich and illustrious family, according to EWTN and was consecrated to God in her tender years and triumphed over numerous assaults of her chastity.

Quintianus, a man of Consular dignity, bent on gratifying both his lust and his greed for wealth, imagined he should easily encompass his wicked designs on Agatha by means of the Emperors Order against the Christians. Quintianus caused Agatha to be arrested and brought before him at Catana, seeing herself in the hands of the persecutors, Agatha made this prayer:

“Jesus Christ, Lord of all things, You see my heart, You know my desire-possess alone all that I am, I am Your sheep, make me worthy to overcome the devil.”

Agatha wept, praying for courage and strength–When she appeared before Quintianus, he gave orders for her to be put into the hands of Aphrodisia, a most wicked woman with six daughters all prostitutes, kept in a brothel. Agatha suffered in this infamous place sexual assaults and schemes against her virtue, more terrible to her than any tortures or death.

Placing her confidence in God, Agatha never ceased with her sighs and most earnest tears to implore God’s protection and by it was an over-match for all of their hellish attempts, the entire month she was imprisoned there.

Quintanus being informed of Agatha’s fidelity after 30 days, ordered her again to be brought before him–this virgin in her first interrogation told him to be a Servant of Jesus Christ was the most illustrious nobility and true liberty. Quintanus offended by her answers, commanded that she be beaten and sent to prison–Agatha entered it with great joy.

The following day Agatha was interrogated again and answered in equal devotion that Jesus Christ was her life and salvation–Quintanus then ordered that she be stretched on the rack, which torment was usually accompanied with the tearing of human flesh with iron hooks and burning them with torches.

The Governor enraged to see her suffer all this with cheerfulness, commanded that her breasts be severed, at which she made him this reproach:

“Cruel tyrant, do not blush to torture this part of my body, you that sucked the breasts of a woman yourself.”

The Governor remanded her to prison, with a stern order that neither salves or food should be provided to Agatha but God would be Himself her physician and the Apostle St. Peter in a vision comforted her, healing her wounds and filled the dungeon with a heavenly light.

Quintanus, four days after and not the least moved by Agatha’s miraculous cure of her wounds, ordered that she be rolled naked over hot coals mixed with broken pottery. Subsequently being carried back to prison, Agatha made this prayer:

“Lord my Creator, You have ever protected me from the cradle, You have take me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer, receive now my soul.”

After her prayer, she sweetly passed away.

Agatha’s name was inserted in the Canon of the Mass in 530

The year following Agatha’s death, the stilling of an eruption of Mt. Etna was attributed to her intercession. As a result, people continued to ask her prayers for protection against fire.

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