The liturgical calendar carries the memory of the Third Century Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr. She was a native of Sicily and has been remembered for her devotion to Jesus Christ and her witness to the Good News preached by Him and the Church. Agatha’s biography tells us of her natural and spiritual beauty to the point of her being consecrated as a virgin (remaining celibate) dedicating her life to the service of the Gospel and facing certain death. Unmoved by the arguments to marry, Agatha was tortured and martyred for the faith. Saint Agatha’s liturgical memorial is February 5.

As a way to deepen our preparation for Great Lent which begins tomorrow (Monday, February 12), at the conclusion of Sunday’s Divine Liturgy, we will have a brief service of Anointing asking for the powerful intercession of Saint Agatha to beg the grace of a restored health of body and soul, leading us to the true God.

The Anointing gives particular graces for those who are suffering illness of body, mind and spirit, especially those women and men living with diseases of the breast. The Saint is the patron saint for those with breast cancer. Saint Agatha feast and intercession is key to our Lenten focus of being centered on Christ, personal conversion and service of the Gospel and the Church.