The Feast of St. Agatha is on February 5. It serves as a symbol of hope for breast cancer survivors, rape victims, and wet nurses. She is also considered a strong intercessor for severe-burns victims. Read on to find out more about this fascinating saint.
History of Feast of St Agatha
The Feast of Saint Agatha is celebrated twice a year: February and August. Such is the devotion to Saint Agatha, that she is now recognized as the patron and protector of all.
St. Agatha is referred to in the martyrology of St. Jerome, the Calendar of Carthage, and other cited works. Even though she was regarded among the most revered virgin martyrs in Christianity, the specifics of her martyrdom are not of much historical value. Catania and Palermo are both debated as her birthplace, and both of her parents were nobles in society. It is also evident from the tradition that she is considered as belonging to a wealthy family. Dedicating her virginity and life to God at a young age, she rejected the persistent courting of a Roman prefect who was sent to govern Sicily by the emperor Decius.
Her rejection of the Roman Prefect and dedication to her faith was perceived (by the prefect) as an insult, and it led to her cruel torture and imprisonment. Her breasts were cut off, which is reflected in images and statues of her. During her imprisonment, St. Peter the Apostle visited her in her visions, comforting her and healing her pain and wounds with his prayers. An attempt to burn her at the stake was made, but accounts tell us that an earthquake occurred, leading to the people protesting for her release. Agatha was imprisoned once again and died in captivity.
Feast of St Agatha timeline
Agatha is born in Catania, or Palermo, in Sicily.
Saint Agatha dies in prison, in Catania, Sicily.
“Sacco” — the long shirt that is belted around the waist with a cord — is worn by the people of Catania during this time, and would go on to be worn in the future to observe the Feast of St. Agatha.
The Feast of Saint Agatha is added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Feast of St Agatha FAQs
What is Saint Agatha known for?
Saint Agatha is a legendary saint and virgin martyr of the Christian faith. She is considered the patron saint of breast cancer patients.
Who is the patron saint of Italy?
St. Catherine of Siena is the patron saint of Italy.
Where did Saint Agatha die?
Saint Agatha died in Catania, Italy, in 251 A.D.
How to Observe Feast of St Agatha
Attend religious ceremonies
Pray as fervently as you can today. Seek the blessings of St. Agatha.
Burn a candle
It is customary to burn candles on the first day of observance. The candles must be as tall as the person who is praying for safety and protection to Saint Agatha.
Attend the grand fireworks show
Evening choirs and dazzling fireworks displays serve as a reminder that Saint Agatha was burnt in the fire. Attend one on this day.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Agatha
A revered virgin martyr
In the Catholic faith, Agatha of Sicily is revered as a virgin martyr.
She became devoted at a young age
The beautiful Agatha dedicated her life and faith to God at a very young age.
St. Peter visited her
Whether she had a vision or not, it is widely believed that St. Peter visited and comforted Agatha in prison.
Agatha in religious art
In religious art, Agatha is commonly shown holding breasts on a plate.
She gives hope to survivors
Agatha is a beacon of hope for rape victims, burns survivors, and breast cancer patients.
Why Feast of St Agatha is Important
It celebrates patron saints in history
Countless patron saints have helped humanity in history and most of them have days of remembrance. The Feast of St. Agatha remembers the devout whose faith remained unwavering even when she was subjected to brutality.
It’s an inspiration to all
St. Agatha is an inspiration to survivors around the world, especially women. Her story gives hope during troubling times.
It highlights crimes against women
The story of Agatha is perhaps more important than ever today. The elimination of crimes against women is a cause that needs as much support as it can get. Being the beacon of hope that she is, St. Agatha is a woman that we all can look up to.
Feast of St Agatha dates