The Catholic Church will be celebrating the feast day of St. Agatha on Feb. 5.
Agatha was born in Catania, Sicily. She died a martyr in 251. She is one of seven women memorialized in the cannon of the Mass.
Her legendary story tells us she was tortured for her faith. After being imprisoned in a brothel by Quintian, she was then sent to prison. When she persisted in the faith, she was tortured by having her breasts amputated. She was then martyred. During a vision she had of St. Peter, she was healed.
Because of this torture, she is considered the patron saint of breast cancer victims.
St. Agatha died while in prison.
In art she is shown with her amputated breasts on a platter.
The following quote is attributed to St. Agatha:
"My courage and my thought be so firmly founded upon the firm stone of Jesus Christ, that for no pain it may not be changed, your words be not wind, your promises be but rain, and your menaces bew as rivers that pass, and how will that all these things hurtle at the fundament of my courage, yet for that it shall not move."
Prayer to Saint Agatha
O St. Agatha,
who withstood the unwelcome advances
from unwanted suitors,
and suffered pain and torture
for your devotion to Our Lord,
we celebrate your faith, dignity, and martyrdom.
Protect us against rape and other violations,
guard us against breast cancer
and other afflictions of women,
and inspire us to overcome adversity.
O St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr,
mercifully grant that we who venerate your sacrifice,
may receive your intercession.