>> Saturday, February 14, 2009
St. Agatha is one of those saints who make the cross that Our Lord has allowed you to carry seem comparably light. First of all, you can see that she is carrying a palm frond which indicates she was a martyr.
Click on this post to find out what else she is carrying.
According to tradition, St. Agatha lived in Sicily during the middle of the second century. Her great beauty attracted the eye of Quintain, a high ranking government official. Agatha, however, had dedicated her life to God, and she strongly rejected his sexual advances. In response, Quintain forced her to live in a brothel in hopes to corrupt her chastity. She endured many trials at the brothel, but Agatha remained pure.
In his anger, Quintain subjected Agatha to a most cruel torture: he had her breasts cut off. Thus, in Christian iconography, St. Agatha is shown holding her breasts on a plate (similar to St. Lucy who often appears holding her eye balls). So, it is no surprise that St. Agatha is the Patroness of breast cancer patients.
On her feast day, many people enjoy pastries called minne de vergine (virgin's nipples). Can you imagine going into a bakery and asking for a dozen Virgin's Nipples?!? Bon appetit!
From the Proper of Saints:
let Your forgivness be won for us
by the pleading of Saint Agatha,
who found favor with You by her chastity
and by her courage in suffering death for the gospel.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen!