St. Agatha was born into a rich family, but when she was young, she dedicated her life to God, and refused any offers of marriage.
One man, Quintian, was angered by her refusal, and thought he could intimidate her into marrying him. He reported her as a Christian to the government, which at the time persecuted Christians. She was brought before him and he expected that she would change her mind when he threatened torture and even death, but she simply prayed in front of him.
Quintian had Agnes tortured, and refused her any medical care. But God sent a vision of St. Peter to take care of Agnes. She was tortured a second time and died after her final prayer: “Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul.”
St. Agatha has been venerated since the sixth century. She is considered a protector against fires, and was asked for help when Mt. Etna erupted. She is also the patroness of bellmakers.
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