Today, February 5th is the feast day of St. Agatha. She is one of my favorite saints. When I was in nursing school, I was given a poem about her and a pin for National Nurses Day. She has been celebrated as the patron of nurses and is one of the most highly venerated virgin martyrs of the Catholic Church. St. Agatha was very helpful to me throughout my career as a nurse.
She was born in the year 231 and died at the hand of Quintianus after he had her tortured in the year 251. He had her breasts cut off which is why she is the patron of those with breast cancer. She had given her life to Christ and the church and he could not stand that she rebuked his advances.
She is commonly featured in religious art with shears, tongs, or breasts on a plate, and is the patron saint of Sicily, bellfounders, breast cancer, against fire, Palermo, rape victims, and nurses.
As we are preparing for lent, we can take a page out of St. Agatha’s playbook. She was resolute in her love for God and the church. We may not be called to give our lives for God as Agatha did, but we are called to do everything in love for each other and for God even the smallest task.