By Melarie Mantanona
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os
St. Agatha of Sicily was born around 231 into a noble family. At a young age, she vowed her life to celibacy and became a consecrated virgin. However, men still sought after her including local governor Quintianus. Enraged that she wouldn’t turn away from her vows to Jesus, he had her arrested and tortured for being a Christian during times when Christianity was oppressed.
Tradition states that it took two attempts to kill her. Some of the horrific torture she endured before her death included (and was not limited to) beatings, imprisonment, and being rolled upon shards and burning coals.
Records also state that her limbs were twisted and her breasts were cut off. She prayed earnestly throughout all that was being done to her with the prayer: “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.” While she was in prison, she had a vision of St. Peter and he healed her wounds through his prayers.
St. Agatha died at the age of twenty and is now one of the Church’s most revered virgin martyrs.
She is the patron saint of Sicily, Palermo, bellfounders, breast cancer patients, rape victims, wet nurses, and against fire. She is among the handful of saints mentioned in the Roman Canon, or Eucharistic Prayer I said during Mass. Her feast day is Feb. 5.
Let us ask St. Agatha to intercede for us to persevere in our times of temptation and trial.
Prayers to Saint Agatha
Saint Agatha, you suffered sexual assault and indignity because of your faith and purity. Help heal all those who are survivors of sexual assault and protect those women who are in danger. Amen.
O Heavenly Father, Who raised Agatha to the dignity of Sainthood, we implore Your Divine Majesty by her intercession to give us health of mind, body and soul. Free us from all those things which hold us bound to this earth, and let our spirit, like hers, rise to your heavenly courts. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You, forever. Amen.
Information and photo from http://www.catholic.org/saints