February 5 is the feast day of St. Agatha.
Although she is one of the most famous early Christians to be martyred as a virgin, not much is historically known about her. According to legend, though, she was a young, beautiful girl from a rich family. Agatha declared herself a Christian at a time when that label could have you killed, and promised to devote her life to God.
Here’s one story we tell about her that says something about her faithfulness. A Roman soldier was taken with her beauty and threatened to arrest her as a Christian unless she had sex with him. She refused, so he confined her in a brothel. Even there, though, she clung to her convictions – she denied customers and was sent to prison. There she was beaten and tortured, including having her breasts cut off.
Despite these challenges, Agatha never lost her faith. As she sat in her cold, dark prison cell, a vision of St. Peter comforted her. She eventually died from her tortures.
Today, she is the patron saint against breast cancer and of nurses.
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