Agatha, St

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Agatha, St a virgin martyr, said to have died at Catania in Sicily. According to later legend, when a pagan consul invoked edicts against Christianity in order to seduce her, she was imprisoned in a brothel and tortured, her breasts being cut off; she died in prison.

She is invoked against fire (especially the eruptions of Mount Etna) and diseases of the breast; she is also patroness of bell-founders. Her emblem in art is a dish with her breasts on it, sometimes mistaken for a dish with two loaves. Her feast day is 5 February.