As in the case of Agnes, another virgin-martyr of the early Church, almost nothing is historically certain about this saint except that she was martyred in Sicily during the persecution of Emperor Decius in 251. Legend has it that Agatha, like Agnes, was arrested as a Christian, tortured, and sent to a house of prostitution to be mistreated. She was preserved from being violated, and was later put to death. Agatha is believed to have passed into Heaven around the year 251.
She is commonly featured in religious art with shears, tongs, or breasts on a plate. She is claimed as the patroness of both Palermo and Catania. The year after her death, the stilling of an eruption of Mt. Etna was attributed to her intercession. As a result, apparently, people continued to ask her prayers for protection against fire. Her feast day is celebrated on February 5
Prayer to Saint Agatha
Patroness against breast disease
You showered heavenly gifts
on the virgin Agatha. Hear
the prayers of those who recall
her devoted life and who ask
her to intercede for them
in their necessity.
Help us imitate her virtues
during our earthly life
and enjoy eternal happiness
with her in heaven.
Prayer to St. Agatha, Patroness of Breast Cancer Patients
St. Agatha, woman of valor,
from your own suffering we have been moved
to ask your prayers for those of us who suffer from breast cancer.
We place (person’s name) before you,
and ask you to intercede on their behalf.
From where you stand in the health of life eternal,
all wounds healed,
and all tears wiped away,
pray for (prayer intention),
and all of us.
Pray God will give us His holy benediction of health and healing.
And, we remember you were a victim of torture
and that you learned, first hand,
of human cruelty and inhumanity.
We ask you to pray for our entire world.
Ask God to enlighten us
with a “genius for peace and understanding.”
Ask Him to send us His Spirit of Serenity,
and ask Him to help us share
that peace with all we meet.
From what you learned
from your own path of pain,
ask God to give us the Grace we need
to remain holy in difficulties,
not allowing our anger
or our bitterness to overtake us.
Pray that we will be more peaceful and more charitable.
And from your holy pace in our mystical body, the Church,
pray that we, in our place and time will, together,
create a world of justice and peace.
Prayer to St. Agatha, Patron Saint of Breast Cancer
Saint Agatha, blessed virgin and martyr.
You are honored as the patron of breast cancer.
You suffered pain and torture in your devotion to the Lord.
Protect me from breast cancer
and intervene before God almighty,
and pray for me so that I may be cured.
Heal me and comfort me, and mercifully
grant me protection from all cancer.
Saint Agatha, pray for me.
Prayer for St. Agatha for health of mind, body and soul
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.
Prayer to St. Agatha
Dear St. Agatha, glorious virgin and martyr, you suffered yourself to be reviled and buffeted, to be tortured by rack, fire, and sword in a most painful manner; and by this fortitude and heroism you merited to be consoled and gladdened in the midst of your dreadful torments by the sight of your guardian angel and the prince of the apostles: obtain for me, I pray, by your merits and by your intercession with Jesus Christ, your divine Spouse, that I may surfer joyfully every temporal loss, rather than prove unfaithful to my Lord and my God. Ask for me the grace of perseverance, that I may with thee enjoy the beatific vision and praise God forevermore.
Protection From Sexual Violence
O Saint Agatha,
you resisted unwelcome advances from unwanted suitors,
and suffered pain and torture for your devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ;
we celebrate your faith, dignity and martyrdom.
Protect us from sexual and other violations,
guard us against all afflictions,
and inspire us to overcome adversity.
Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr,
mercifully grant that we who venerate your sacrifice
may receive your intercession in times of need.
… St Agatha, Pray for Us …
A Prayer for Special Intention
O glorious Saint Agatha, through whose intercession in Christ I hope for the restored health of body and soul hasten to lead me to the true Good, God alone. By your intercession O blessed Agatha, may I ever enjoy your protection by faithfully witnessing to Christ. You invite all who come to you to enjoy the treasure of communion with the Holy Trinity. Moreover, if it be for God’s greater glory and the good of my person, please intercede for me with the request of
[mention request here].
Saint Agatha, you found favor with God by your chastity and by your courage in suffering death for the gospel. Teach me how to suffer with cheerfulness, uniting myself to Christ crucified with a simplicity and purity of heart. Amen.
Saint Agatha, eloquent witness of Jesus Christ as Savior, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, the martyr who says to Jesus, “possess all that I am,” pray for us.
Saint Agatha, concerned with the welfare of all God’s children, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.