Saturday 5th February, 2022
As with so many early saints, facts about St Agatha are limited. She was martyred in Sicily in about 250. She was certainly very much in the hearts of the early church, as she has been from early times mentioned in the list of female saints (Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes) in the canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer 1).
The legend has it that as punishment for refusing the advances of a senior Roman, her breasts were cut of, which wounds were then healed during a vision of St Paul. She was sent to the stake, but an earthquake took place before the flames touched her and the people insisted upon her release to calm the tremors. She then died in prison. St Agatha is Patron Saint for those suffering from breast cancer - we probably all know someone affected by this - so today would be a good day to offer prayers for them.