The holy martyr and virgin Saint Agatha is among the Catholic Church’s greatest heroines of holy purity. Her name was inserted in the canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as early as AD 530 in Carthage.
Saint Agatha stands with Saint Agnes, Saint Lucy, Saint Agnes, Saint Cecilia, Saint Anastasia, Saint Philomena, and Saint Maria Goretti as models for our sons and daughters. As Catholics we should instill a great devotion to these saints, especially in our daughters. Let us praise virginity (click here for details).
In a nutshell, Agnes dedicated her virginity to her Lord Jesus Christ. When she rejected the lustful advances of the low-born Roman prefect Quintianus, she was persecuted by him for her Christian faith. Here is the account of Agatha’s glorious sufferings and martyrdom from Butler’s:
The judge, offended at her resolute answers, commanded her to be buffeted, and led to prison. She entered it with great joy, recommending her future conflict to God. The next day she was arraigned a second time at the tribunal, and answered with equal constancy that Jesus Christ was her life and her salvation. Quintianus then ordered her to be stretched on the rack, which torment was usually accompanied with stripes, the tearing of the sides with iron hooks, and burning them with torches or matches. The governor, enraged to see her suffer all this with cheerfulness, commanded her breast to be tortured, and afterwards to be cut off. At which she made him this reproach: “Cruel tyrant, do you not blush to torture this part of my body, you that sucked the breasts of a woman yourself?” He remanded her to prison with a severe order, that neither salves nor food should be allowed her. But God would be himself her physician, and the apostle St. Peter in a vision comforted her, healed all her wounds, and filled her dungeon with a heavenly light. Quintianus, four days after, not the least moved at the miraculous cure of her wounds, caused her to be rolled naked over live coals mixed with broken potsherds. Being carried back to prison, she made this prayer; “Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle. You have taken from me the love of the world, and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul.” After which words she sweetly gave up the ghost.
Saint Agatha pray for us!
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