Agatha (d. 251) was born of noble parentage in Sicily. When she refused the solicitations of the Roman counsel governor Quintianus, he had her imprisoned and tortured in order to get her to change her mind.

When that didn’t work, she was sentenced to be burned at the stake, but an earthquake occurred and she was spared that fate, although her torture became even more henious. According to pious legend, Quintianus ordered her breasts to be removed, but she was miraculously visited by Saint Peter and an angel in the night and was healed.

Agatha was subsequently “rolled” on broken pieces of pottery and then also on live coals, and yet she steadfastly refused to sacrifice to the idols as requested.

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