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Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
It is only known with certainty that Agatha suffered martyrdom at Catania in Sicily, probably during the persecution of Decius. From antiquity her cult spread throughout the Church; her name was therefore inserted into the Roman Canon.
In the later of two versions of accounts of the martyrs, and this is possibly and embellishment that has affected iconography and art depicting her, Agatha lived during the 3rd century and was martyred at Catalina, Sicily, under the Emperor Decius, when she refused to sacrifice to the gods. She died as a result of her suffering in prison, but before that she had been cruelly tortured. Her breasts were torn off with pincers (but Saint Peter appeared to her at night and healed her wounds), and she was forced to walk on shards of glass and was rolled over live coals. She is depicted in art during these tortures or with her breasts on a platter, along with a pincer.
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