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Monday 20 March |
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: St. Agatha

Patron Saint of Those with Diseases of the Breast


Virgin and Martyr (d. ca. 251)

Her life

+ Agatha died around the year 251 and is one of the most revered and frequently invoked early martyrs. Her name is included in many early lists of saints and she is included in the Roman Canon (the First Eucharistic Prayer).

+ According to tradition, Agatha was born into wealthy family in Sicily and made a vow of virginity at a young age.

+ When a Roman consul tried to marry her, she refused him. Because of this, he denounced her and she suffered horrible tortures, including having her breasts cut off. she died in prison as a result of her tortures.

+ Saint Agatha is invoked against breast cancer and other diseases of the breast. She is also a special patron during times of earthquake and volcanic eruptions, because of a tradition that her intercession saved the people during an eruption of Mount Etna the year after her death.

For prayer and reflection

In the first three centuries, large numbers of consecrated virgins underwent martyrdom in order to remain faithful to the Lord. Among these were Agatha of Catania, Lucy of Syracuse, Agnes and Cecilia of Rome, Thecla of Iconium, Apollonia of Alexandria, Restituta of Carthage, and Justa and Rufina of Seville. From that time, right up to today the memory of the virgin martyrs has remained as a striking reminder of the total gift of self that virginal consecration demands.”—from the instruction Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago

Spiritual bonus

On this day, we also remember Blessed Elizabeth Canori Morra. A wife and mother, she suffered for a long time due to her husband’s infidelity, economic hardships, and the cruel harassment of relatives. However, she endured all with unsurpassed charity and patience. Elizabeth offered her life to the Lord for the conversion, salvation, peace and sanctification of sinners as a member of the Trinitarian Third Order. Blessed Elizabeth died in Rome in 1825 and was beatified in 1994.


May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha
implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray,
for she found favor with you
by the courage of her martyrdom
and the merit of her chastity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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