St. Agatha's sad story - reading this really touched me


#1

St. Agatha
Feastday: February 5

Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr.

In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important family. When she was young, she dedicated her life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry her or have sex with her. One of these men, Quintian, was of a high enough rank that he felt he could force her to acquiesce. Knowing she was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by praying: “Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil.”

Legend tells us that Quintian imprisoned her in a brothel in order to get her to change her mind. Quintian brought her back before him after she had suffered a month of assault and humiliation in the brothel, but Agatha had never wavered, proclaiming that her freedom came from Jesus. Quintian sent her to prison, instead of back to the brothel – a move intended to make her more afraid, but which probably was a great relief to her. When she continued to profess her faith in Jesus, Quintian had her tortured. He refused her any medical care but God gave her all the care she needed in the form of a vision of St. Peter. When she was tortured again, she died after saying a final prayer: “Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul.”

Because one of the tortures she supposedly suffered was to have her breasts cut off, she was often depicted carrying her breasts on a plate. It is thought that blessing of the bread that takes place on her feast may have come from the mistaken notion that she was carrying loaves of bread.

Because she was asked for help during the eruption of Mount Etna she is considered a protector against the outbreak of fire. She is also considered the patroness of bellmakers for an unknown reason – though some speculate it may have something to do with the fact that bells were used as fire alarms.

Prayer:
Saint Agatha, you suffered sexual assault and indignity because of your faith. Help heal all those who are survivors of sexual assault and protect those women who are in danger. Amen


#2

saints.sqpn.com/saint-agatha-of-sicily/

'The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.

Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us.’

St. Methodius of Sicily, bishop

‘Cruel man, have you forgotten your mother and the breast that nourished you, that you dare to mutilate me this way?’

Saint Agatha

Jesus Christ, Lord of all things! You see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am - you alone. I am your sheep; make me worthy to overcome the devil.

Saint Agatha

Lord, my creator, you have protected me since I was in the cradle. You have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Now receive my spirit.

Saint Agatha


#3

St. Agatha is also patroness of nurses and of breast cancer victims.

I think the bell reference also has to do with some artisti depictions that show her holding a plate with the severed breasts [kind of like St. Lucy with the eyes]. The breasts look like…well…bells.


#4

I’m always amazed reading about the Martyrs.


#5

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.” (Luke 12:4)


#6

She reminds me of St. Agnes, who’s feast we celebrated last month.


#7

These women were both avid on devoting themselves to God, it was very common in those times in Sicily to have such devotion, and the pretty poison of a beautiful woman, you can understand the malice received if these women rejected the men they encountered. Saint Rosalie is the patron saint of the island, not too much I know other than she banished herself to a cave (of which i got to see!!!), and she prayed and waited on her salvation there.

Yes as it has been said, St. Agatha is a patron of Breast Cancer, when you hear her story amidst the trials of this disease, you know someone out there suffered greater than you, struggled harder than you, and somehow kept their faith strong in the eyes of despair, hate, and anger. Wow! What a plight!

I have heard many stories about St. Lucy, if she was martyred then she had her eyes gouged out by the man or men she rejected, however I heard that she may have done it herself in order to not be a temptation for men, has anyone heard this?

-Hope


#8

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