Patron of Breast Cancer Sufferers
February 5 is the feast of Saint Agatha, the patron saint for breast cancer. Saint Agatha was born into a wealthy family, and consecrated to God at an early age. She was a lovely girl who attracted the attention of a judge, Quintianus, who wanted both her body and her money. When she refused him, he had her arrested and put into a brothel. She prayed and wept, and her virtue was intact after 30 days. The judge then had her taken to prison to be beaten and stretched on the rack. While chained, she was whipped, cut, burnt, and finally her breasts were cut off. She reportedly said to her guard: Cruel tyrant, do you not blush to torture this part of my body, you that sucked the breasts of a woman yourself? That night, Saint Peter appeared and gave her a miraculous healing. Quintianus, still not satisfied, ordered her to be rolled naked over live coals mixed with sharp bits of broken pottery. Saint Agatha made no other request after this, except that God would receive now my soul. She was martyred in AD 251.
O Heavenly Father, Who raised Agatha to the dignity of Sainthood, we implore Your Divine Majesty by her intercession to give us health of mind, body, and soul.
Free us from all those things which hold us bound to this earth, and let our spirit, like hers, rise to your heavenly courts. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You, forever.
PROTECTION OF SAINT AGATHA
O Saint 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 Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr, mercifully grant that we who venerate your sacrifice, may receive your intercession.