Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Saint Agatha

St. Agatha
Agatha lived somewhere around the 2nd quarter of the 2nd century. She died in 253. Like St. Lucy, Agatha hailed from wealthy stock in Sicily & wanted to dedicate herself to God at an early age. A Roman Senator took note of her great beauty & proposed many times, only to be shot down.

The Senator decided to commit Agatha "to the charge of an evil woman" (  No one seems to know what that meant exactly- but everyone agrees that Agatha wasn't compliant.

She was thrown in prison, where she was tortured. The most gruesome ordeal was the cutting off of her breasts. Some pictures depict them being pulled off  simultaneously with pliers. Some versions of the story say this is what killed her. Others say a vision of St. Peter comforted & healed her so she could live to die another day... She endured unspeakable tortures, all for her dedication to Christ. Her feast day is February 5th. She is the patron saint of breast cancer & other diseases of the breast.

St. Agatha, St. Lucy & St. Rita had many things in common. They all came from relatively wealthy families. They all had men who wanted to marry them. But these women had one desire- it wasn't in wealth or the status & security marriage would bring.  All they wanted was to remain faithful to Christ. In this present age where purity is scorned & women are seduced by the media into thinking they must be rich & sexy, I find these three saints to be inspiring. They didn't command armies like Joan of Arc. They weren't clever like the Old Testament ladies who seduced their enemies so they could kill them. No, these gals got caught & spent the majority of their lives in prison. They endured for the name of Christ when they could have remained safe & comfortable in their respective lives. They were unwilling to budge because Christ meant all, to the very death.

Do I have a devotion like that? If faced with torture, would I recant or endure? Would I agree to keep my mouth shut or would I shout all the louder? Do the things that mean most to me in this life reflect the reality of the next?

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