"Agatha went to prison radiant with joy and with head held high as though
invited to a festive banquet. And she commended her agony to the Lord in prayer."
St. Agatha, the last of the four great virgin martyrs celebrated consecutively during the winter months, bears her testimony to Christ this day. Her name, "goodness" or "excellence" appropriately points to the excellence of her deeds and the goodness of her life, culminating in her willing gift of her life for her Divine Spouse.
From a homily on Saint Agatha by Saint Methodius of Sicily
The gift of God, the source of all goodness
The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.
Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us. For she grants us a share in her goodness.
What can give greater good than the Sovereign Good? Whom could anyone find more worthy of celebration with hymns of praise than Agatha?
Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true Good. God alone.
Procession of the Holy Virgins and Martyrs
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