Short Lives of the Saints – Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

detail of a fresco of Santa Agatha of Sicily by Luini; 16th century; Church of San Maurizio in Milano, Italy; photographed on 12 July 2008 by Warburg; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsEntry

The youthful Agatha being very beautiful, rich, and of a noble house in the town of Catania, the pagan governor. Quintin, became enamored of her, and wished to marry her. But Agatha had already secretly espoused herself to Jesus Christ, and repulsed the governor’s addresses. Enraged at this, Quintin, on pretext of her being a Christian, delivered the tender virgin to the torturers. She was forthwith scourged, torn with iron hooks, and her breasts and sides lacerated and scorched with fiery metal. After all these torments being cast into a dungeon, Saint Peter the Apostle appeared to her and healed her wounds. She was brought before Quintin a second time, but remained inflexibly constant to her faith and sacred vow. Saint Agatha was then ordered to be dragged over burning coals and afterwards over potsherds. An earthquake took place at the time of this second torture, and Quintin fled from the town in terror. Saint Agatha died in prison the next night, A.D. 251.

Flower of the lily! on thee Heaven’s dews drop down;
Treasure the sweetness of the Hidden Life;
Thy Nazareth is Mary’s Paradise.
Jesus is thine; thy Spouse, thy virgin-crown.
    – Joseph W. S. Norris

Favorite Practice – An unyielding constancy in good resolutions, “With purpose of heart to continue in the Lord.”

MLA Citation

  • Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly. “Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr”. Short Lives of the Saints, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 April 2021. Web. 19 April 2021. <>