Saint Agatha Feast Day

St. Agatha Day
St. Agatha's catacombs in Rabat

St. Agatha Day

Feast Days, or Holy Days, are days that are celebrated in commemoration of the sacred events recorded in the history of our redemption, in memory of the Virgin Mother of Christ, or of His apostles, martyrs, and saints, by special services and rest from work. A feast not only honors an event or person, but also serves to excite the spiritual life by reminding us of the special event.

St. Agatha Feast Day is February 5. Virgin and Martyr. Saint Agatha died in 251 during the Christian persecutions under Decius, which lasted from 240 to 251. She was very pretty and was from a wealthy family. So lovely was Saint Agatha that she unwittingly caught the attention of Quintian, the Governor of Sicily. Agatha refused Quintian, however, having taken a Christian vow of purity and devotion to Christ. Quintian had Agatha imprisoned and brutally tortured and her breasts were severed. She is said to have been healed of her wounds when St. Peter appeared to her in prison. Quintian's tortures continued and she finally died unshaken in her dedication to Christ.

Devotion to her spread beyond Sicily and was so fervent in the early Church that St. Agatha's name came to be included in the first Eucharistic Prayer. She is honored for her courage in suffering and her devotion and commitment to Christ. St. Agatha is the patron saint of Sicily, nurses, bakers, miners, jewelers, Alpine guides, and those suffering from breast cancer. She is also the protector against earthquakes, volcanoes, fires and thunderstorms.

Nowhere in the world is the feast of St. Agatha honored as is in the village of Catania, in Sicily. Starting on the 2nd of February and ending on the 5th, the Saint Agatha festival is celebrated by the entire village.

Feasts for Saint Agatha Day include the blessing of the bread. This tradition may have originated due to misconceptions that renditions of St. Agatha with her breasts on a platter were mistaken for her presenting a platter of bread.

Plan a family meal to honor St Agatha on February 5. During the meal have one person tell the story of St Agatha. Make an ‘Agatha’ cake for dessert. Write St Agatha's name on the cake with icing and add some candles. The youngest of the ‘young women’ in the family gets the honor of blowing them out. At the end of your meal pray together.

St. Agatha’s Prayer:
‘Jesus Christ, Lord of all things! You see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. Make me worthy to overcome the devil.’

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