Zachary Baker Rodes
Today the Church commemorates the feast of Agatha of Sicily.
One of the most harrowing martyrdom stories of the early church, Agatha’s story is one of faithfulness and fortitude in the face of helplessness. She was born in the 3rd century and believed to have come from a noble family.
At an early age, she dedicated herself to being a consecrated virgin. However, a Roman prefect was infatuated with her and would not stop making advances until finally he denounced her as a Christian. Unfortunately, it came to be that he would be both accuser and judge. She was sentenced to live at a brothel, but she still held steadfast against any sexual advances.
She would be tortured then killed in 251. She is considered the patron saint of sexual assault and breast cancer survivors. While I am not a personal victim of sexual assault, it is helpful for me to know there is a saint who I can pray to and help others to learn about and pray to to help through such times of darkness.
Almighty and everlasting God,
who didst strengthen thy martyr Agatha with constancy and courage:
Grant us for the love of thee
to make no peace with oppression,
to fear no adversity,
and to have no tolerance
for those who wouldst use their power
to abuse or exploit;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost
be all honor and glory,
now and for ever.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington