December 3, 2023

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

The Holy Martyr Agatha of Catania

2 min read

Icon of St. Agatha. Work of the Convent of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Parnitha, Attica, Greece

St. Agatha of Sicily (c. 231 – c. 251 AD) was an early Christian martyr. Her feast is on February 5th. An ancient life of St. Agatha exists both in Latin and in Greek St. Agatha is cited in the martyrology of St. Jerome, the Calendar of Carthage (c. 530), and other works. Tradition holds that she was born to wealthy and noble parents.
Having consecrated her virginity to God at a young age, she resisted the advances of a Roman prefect named Quintianus sent by the emperor Decius to govern Sicily. She was stretched on a rack to be torn with iron hooks, burned with torches, and whipped. Amongst the tortures she underwent was the cutting off of her breasts with pincers. After further confrontations with Quintianus, represented in a sequence of dialogues in her passio, that document her fortitude and steadfast devotion, Agatha was then sentenced to be burnt at the stake, but an earthquake occurred. Instead, she was sent to prison where St. Peter the Apostle appeared to her and healed her wounds and comforted her.
St. Agatha gave up her soul to her Master and Lord Jesus Christ in prison.

Troparion (Tone 4)
Your lamb Agatha, calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
“I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered offered myself in love.”
Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
May the Church be robed today in a garment of glorious porphyry,
Dyed by the pure blood of the martyr Agatha,
And let us cry out: “Rejoice, O pride of Catania!”

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