Today is the feast of St. Agatha, a virgin martyr and saint of the Roman Canon.
Agatha was martyred in Sicily in about 251 during the time of the Emperor Decius and her tomb is at Catania. In Rome there is a lovely church dedicated to her, Sant’Agatha dei Goti in the Suburra zone, which is the titular church of Card. Burke.
Holy legend says that, despite her vow of virginity, she was pursued by a powerful man and eventually subjected to humiliations and tortures, including the cutting off of her breasts. She is a patroness of women who have been abused and also for breast cancer patients.
There is a beautiful little book available…
With Glory and Honor You Crowned Them: The Female Martyrs of the Roman Canon by Matthew Manint
We should probably increase our devotion to the martyrs, especially those of the Roman Canon.
We should probably increase our USE of the Roman Canon.
These are going to be hard days ahead.
Deus, qui inter cétera poténtiæ tuæ mirácula étiam in sexu frágili victóriam martýrii contulísti: concéde propítius; ut, qui beátæ Agathæ Vírginis et Mártyris tuæ natalítia cólimus, per eius ad te exémpla gradiámur.
Let us pray.
O God, Who among other wonders of Your power have given the victory of martyrdom even to the gentler sex, graciously grant that we who commemorate the anniversary of the death of blessed Agatha, Your Virgin and Martyr, may come to You by following her example. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.