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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What Do You Think?

Could you be a martyr like St. Agatha whose feast is today? Would you suffer torture for your faith? Because tradition tells us that one of St. Agatha's tortures was to have her breasts cut off, she is the patron of women who suffer breast cancer. 

St. Agatha of Sicily, pray for us.

Here's her history from Catholic Online:

Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important family. When she was young, she dedicated her life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry her or have sex with her. One of these men, Quintian, was of a high enough rank that he felt he could force her to acquiesce. Knowing she was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by praying: "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." 
Legend tells us that Quintian imprisoned her in a brothel in order to get her to change her mind. Quintian brought her back before him after she had suffered a month of assault and humiliation in the brothel, but Agatha had never wavered, proclaiming that her freedom came from Jesus. Quintian sent her to prison, instead of back to the brothel -- a move intended to make her more afraid, but which probably was a great relief to her. When she continued to profess her faith in Jesus, Quintian had her tortured. He refused her any medical care but God gave her all the care she needed in the form of a vision of St. Peter. When she was tortured again, she died after saying a final prayer: "Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul."


Anonymous said...

Since I have survived breast cancer three times over about twenty-two years, I made sure I went to Mass on her feastday to ask for her prayers and protection. The prayers of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, St. Peregrine and St. Agatha have gotten me through my cancer.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I'm a breast cancer survivor as well, but I confess at the time I did not know about St. Agatha (1986). But I will certainly make her a special friend now. I've been so blessed to be cancer free for 25 years. Let us pray for each other.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I will pray for you and all breast cancer victims. My cancer has always been susceptible to estrogen, and I am probably alive because I never took any kind of hormones nor artificial contraceptives. Thank you for your prayers.