St. Agatha: Patroness of those with Breast Cancer

The saint of the day for February 5 is St. Agatha, the patroness of those who suffer from breast cancer.

Agatha was born in Sicily, the daughter of rich and pious parents. At a young age, she consecrated herself to God. She grew to be a virtuous Christian woman, known for her remarkable beauty, but resisted the advances of men. The Roman Senator Quintianus, who governed Sicily, had heard of her great beauty and wealth, and planned on seducing her. Consequently, he made laws against the Christians in order to trick her into coming to him.

When she was apprehended, Agatha prayed: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all things, you see my heart, you know my desire-possess alone all that I am. I am your sheep, make me worthy to overcome the devil." She wept, and prayed for courage and strength. Quintianus made advances toward her, and when she refused them, he ordered her to be put into the hands of Aphrodisia, a woman who ran a brothel. Agatha refused to be influenced by the seductiveness of this wicked woman and her environment. She remained firm in the convictions of her Christian faith.

Quintianus then had her beaten, imprisoned, and subjected to cruel tortures. He ordered that her breasts be cut off and that she receive neither food nor medical care for four days. But the holy virgin was consoled by a vision of St. Peter, who miraculously healed her.

Quintianus, not the least bit moved by the miraculous cure of her wounds, ordered that she be stretched out on a rack and rolled naked over live coals mixed with broken glass. Dying, she prayed: "Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world, and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul."

Lessons learned from St. Agatha

St. Agatha is an excellent model of chastity and purity for us today. We live in a society of hyper-sensuality, where Christians are mocked for their morality and struggle to defend that which is sacred. We are constantly bombarded by the sensual temptations in our culture. While we do not suffer the physical torture that Agatha did, most of us do indeed experience the spiritual and psychological torment of living in a decadent culture.

Like St. Agatha, prayer will help us to remain strong and courageous. Today, we are blessed with many more opportunities for grace than in Agatha's time. The sacraments, the Rosary, and Eucharistic Adoration are  powerful weapons in the spiritual battle. If we follow the example of our crucified Lord and look to Him for all our needs, we will receive the strength we need to endure all of life’s daily trials and not grow weary on the way.

~ copyright Jean M. Heimann February 2016


against breast cancer
against breast disease
against earthquakes
against fire
against natural disasters
against sterility
against volcanic eruptions
fire prevention
rape victims
single laywomen
torture victims

Prayer to St. Agatha for healing of breast cancer

St. Agatha, woman of valor, from your own suffering we have been moved to ask your prayers for those of us who suffer from breast cancer. We place the name (s) before you, and ask you to intercede on their behalf. From where you stand in the health of life eternal- all wounds healed, and all tears wiped away- pray for ____________________, and all of us. Pray God will give us His holy benediction of health and healing. And, we remember you were a victim of torture and that you learned, first hand, of human cruelty and inhumanity. We ask you to pray for our entire world. Ask God to enlighten us with a “genius for peace and understanding.” Ask Him to send us His Spirit of Serenity, and ask Him to help us share that peace with all we meet. From what you learned from your own path of pain, ask God to give us the Grace we need to remain holy in difficulties, not allowing our anger or our bitterness to overtake us. Pray that we will be more peaceful and more charitable. And from your holy pace in our mystical body, the Church, pray that we, in our place and time will, together, create a world of justice and peace. Amen.


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