05 February 2020

Blessed Feast of St Agatha

Not a lot is known about St Agatha for certain, but plenty has been preserved in Church tradition, including the fact that she is in the Roman Canon and mentioned in the daily Mass.  She was probably martyred during the persecution of Decian in 250 AD.  She apparently came from a wealthy family in Sicily, dedicated her life to Christ at an early age, and her beauty drew many men to her.  She refused them all.  At some point, she was arrested, interrogated, tortured, and martyred.  Legend has it that she was mutilated sexually, her breasts being cut off.  Whatever she went through, she never betrayed Christ.

From the mycatholiclife.com site:

Men commit most of the physical violence in the world.  And when their victims are women, that violence can be particularly vicious because their victims are so defenseless.  The stories of the early male martyrs of the Church relate tales of extreme torture by their Roman captors.  But the stories of the women martyrs often relate something more--sexual humiliation.  No male martyrs are known to have suffered similar indignities.  Saint Agatha and others were not only physically tough to endure the pain they did, but also mentally and spiritually powerful to have resisted to the death the public embarrassment and degradation particular to them as women.  They were the strong ones.  It was their male captors who looked weak.

Saint Agatha, you were a virgin espoused to Christ himself, a bride of the Lord who preserved herself for Him alone.  Your vow to love God above all else hardened you to endure temptation, torture, and degradation.  May we be as resolute as you when any type of persecution, however mild, seeks us out.

St Agatha pray for us!

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