Saint Agatha

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5 February

Agatha was born in Sicily around c.231. Agatha was a beautiful woman who chose to dedicate her life to God and vowed to become a consecrated virgin.

A magistrate named Quintianus tried to force her away from her vow and to marry him. Agatha refused and he had her arrested and tortured. Quintianus was angered that Agatha had not given in and had her imprisoned in a brothel. Agatha was assaulted, however she never gave in, she was courageous and did not break her vow to God. After this Quintianus ordered to have her breasts cut off, and she was thrown into a dungeon. She was given no medicine or bandages for her wounds and left to starve.
It is not clear if Agatha died from the torture or if she was sent to death by Quintianus. Some sources say that she died as a result of being rolled on coals, but it is not certain.

Saint Agatha is a great role model for women who suffer from physical, verbal and emotional abuse. Inspired by the strength of St Agatha, we encourage women in abusive relationships, not to endure their abuse but rather to stay strong and find the courage to seek help. She is also the patron saint for women with breast cancer.

Lord we pray for women who are abused, assaulted, raped and in danger. We pray that society truly see women as equals, both in dignity and respect. We pray that women everywhere have courage to stand up for their beliefs and that they are not forced into silence.