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Friday, 5 February 2016

Saint Agatha. Virgin And Martyr. Feast Day, Today, 5 February.

Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

File:Alessandro Turchi - Saint Agatha Attended by Saint Peter and an Angel in Prison - Walters 37552.jpg

Saint Agatha.
Attended in Prison by Saint Peter and an Angel.
Artist: Alessandro Turchi (1578–1649).
Medium: Oil on Slate.
According to an early Christian legend, when a 3rd-Century A.D. Roman official of Sicily desired
the Christian woman, Agatha, and she refused to yield to his advances, he had her tortured,
and even ordered her breasts cut off. At night, in prison, she was visited by a vision of
Saint Peter and an Angel, and her breasts were miraculously restored. The grey stone of
the prison wall was created by letting the slate show through, and it forms a background
for the night scene, illuminated by a torch. As opposed to canvas and wood, slate gave
a painting almost unlimited durability and the same kind of permanence as sculpture.
Date: 1640-1645 (Baroque).
Current location: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore,
Maryland, United States of America.
Credit line: Acquired by Henry Walters, before 1909.
Source/Photographer: Walters Art Museum.
(Wikimedia Commons)

File:Bischofstetten Pfarrkirche innen.jpg

English: The Parish Church of Saint Agatha of Sicily,
Bischofstetten, Austria.
Deutsch: Pfarrkirche Bischofstetten, Österreich.
Photo: 8 February 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: BSonne.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Agatha of Sicily is a Christian Saint. Feast Day 5 February. Agatha was born at CataniaSicily, and Martyred circa 251 A.D. She is one of seven women, who, along with The Blessed Virgin Mary, are commemorated by name in The Canon of The Mass.

She is The Patron Saint of: Catania, Sicily; Molise, Italy; MaltaSan Marino; and Zamarramala, a municipality of the Province of Segovia, Spain. She is also The Patron Saint of breast cancer patients, Martyrs, wet nurses, Bell-Founders, bakers, fire, earthquakes, and eruptions of Mount Etna.

Agatha is buried at the Abbey Church of Saint Agatha (Badia di Sant'Agata), Catania. She is listed in the Late-6th-Century A.D. Martyrologium Hieronymianum, associated with Jerome, and the Synaxarion, The Calendar of The Church of Carthage, circa 530 A.D.

File:Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 095.jpg

English: The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha.
Italiano: Martirio di Sant'Agata.
Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
This File: 17 April 2006.
User: Crux. This image was 
copied from wikipedia:de.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Agatha also appears in one of the carmina of Venantius Fortunatus. Two early Churches were Dedicated to her in Rome, notably the Church of Sant'Agata dei Goti, in via Mazzarino, a Titular Church with Apse mosaics of circa 460 A.D., and traces of a fresco cycle, over-painted by Gismondo Cerrini, in 1630. In the 6th-Century A.D., the Church was adapted to Arian Christianity, hence its name, "Saint Agatha of Goths" (Sant'Agata dei Goti), and later re-Consecrated by Pope Gregory the Great, who confirmed her traditional Sainthood. 

Agatha is also depicted in the mosaics of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, where she appears, richly dressed, in the procession of female Martyrs along the North Wall. Her image forms an initial "I" in the Sacramentary of Gellone, from the end of the 8th-Century A.D.

File:2893 - Catania - Giov. Batt. Vaccarini - Chiesa della Badia di S. Agata (1767) - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto, 4-July-2008.jpg

ItalianoGiovanni Battista Vaccarini (1702-1768), 
EnglishGiovanni Battista Vaccarini (1702-1768),
was the Architect of the Abbey Church of Saint Agatha,
Catania, Sicily, Italy.
Photo: 4 July 2008.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most-highly-Venerated Virgin Martyrs of Christian antiquity, Agatha was put to death during the Persecution of Decius (250 A.D. - 253 A.D.) in Catania, Sicily, for her steadfast profession of Faith.

Her written legend comprises "straightforward accounts of interrogation, torture, resistance, and triumph, which constitute some of the earliest hagiographic literature", and are reflected in later recensions, the earliest surviving one being an illustrated Late-10th-Century passiobound into a composite volume, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, originating, probably, in Autun, Burgundy; in its margin illustrations, Magdalena Carrasco detected Carolingian or Late-Antique iconographic traditions.

According to Jacobus de Voragine'sLegenda Aurea, of circa 1288, having dedicated her Virginity to God, fifteen-year-old Agatha, from a rich and noble family, rejected the amorous advances of the low-born Roman Prefect, Quintianus, who then persecuted her for her Christian Faith. He sent Agatha to Aphrodisia, the keeper of a brothel.

File:Church of St Agatha, Rabat.JPG

English: Church of Saint Agatha, Rabat, Malta.
Italiano: Chiesa di Sant'Agata, Rabat, Malta.
Photo: 31 August 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Cruccone.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Madam, finding her intractable, Quintianus sends for her, argues, threatens, and finally has her put in prison. Among the tortures she underwent was the cutting off of her breasts. After further dramatic confrontations with Quintianus, represented in a sequence of dialogues in her passio that document her fortitude and steadfast devotion. Saint Agatha was then sentenced to be burned at the stake, but an earthquake saved her from that fate; instead, she was sent to prison where Saint Peter the Apostle appeared to her and healed her wounds. Saint Agatha died in prison, according to the Legenda Aurea, in "The Year of Our Lord two hundred and fifty-three, in the time of Decius, the Emperor of Rome." Osbern Bokenham, A Legend of Holy Women, written in the 1440s, offers some further detail.

File:Mdina St Agatha chapel inside.JPG

English: Interior of Saint Agatha's Chapel, Mdina, Malta.
Italiano: Interno della cappella di Sant'Agata, Mdina, Malta.
Photo: 31 August 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Cruccone.
(Wikimedia Commons)

File:St agatha yorkshire.JPG

Saint Agatha's Church, 
Yorkshire, England. 
The Church is next to Easby Abbey.
Photo: 15 June 2008.
Source: Own work by uploader.
Author: Greenjettaguy.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Saint Agatha.
Virgin and Martyr.
Feast Day 5 February.


Red Vestments.

English: Cathedral of Saint Agatha, Catania, Sicily, Italy.
Deutsch: Italien, Sizilien, Catania, Dom Sant' Agata.
Photo: 6 October 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Berthold Werner.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr (Collect), was born in Sicily of noble parentage, but she estimated that, for her, the highest nobility would be to belong to Jesus, Whom she took as her Spouse (Gospel).

Endowed with remarkable beauty, she had to resist the solicitations of the Roman Governor, Quintianus, who, unable to attain his end by persuasion, had recourse to violence. Her breast was torn by his order, but was healed on the following night, by the Apostle, Saint Peter, who appeared to her in prison (Communion).

Then, the body of the Saint was rolled on pieces of broken pottery and on burning coals, and, when she was brought back to her cell, she expired while Praying.

This happened at Catana (Catania), Sicily, in 251 A.D., during the Persecution of the Emperor, Decius. God Almighty, by granting the victory of Martyrdom to a feeble woman (Collect), wished to show that He alone is our Redeemer, for it is with this "end in view that He chooses what is weak, in the World, to confound with their nothingness those who trust in their own strength" (Epistle).

English: Interior of the Church of Saint Agatha, Hausleiten, Austria.
Deutsch: Innenansicht der katholischen Pfarrkirche hl. Agatha
in der niederösterreichischen Gemeinde Hausleiten.
Photo: 29 September 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Bwag.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On several occasions, the virginal veil, which covered the tomb of Saint Agatha, held up the torrents of burning lava rushing down from Mount Etna and threatening to ruin the town. God thus honoured the resistance that her very pure Soul had shown to all the assaults of passion.

Her name is mentioned in The Canon of The Mass (Second List). Her Feast was already Celebrated at Rome in the 6th-Century A.D. The Church of Saint Agatha, in Rome, was made a Stational Church by Pope Pius XI in 1934 (Third Tuesday in Lent).

Let us invoke Saint Agatha to preserve our homes from fire and to extinguish, through the Spirit of Penitence, the impure flames that consume our bodies and our Souls.

Mass: Gaudeámus omnes in Domino.



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