February 5, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Agatha the Martyr

On the fifth of this month [February], we commemorate the Holy Martyr Agatha.


As a guardian against darkness Agatha I rejoice,
Having hated the light, now the appearance of error I see.
On the fifth Agatha died in prison in excellent form.

Saint Agatha was from a city on the island of Sicily, known as Palermo, where she shined with physical and incorruptible beauty, and had a beautiful soul, while being very wealthy and possessing many physical goods, during the reign of Emperor Decius (249-251). Being a Christian, she was brought before the prefect Quintinian. First he handed her over to a faithless woman named Aphrodisia, with the purpose of persuading the Saint away from faith in Christ. Because the Saint held strongly to her piety, and grew in her desire to die a martyric death, she was severely beaten, and her breasts were cut off, but the Apostle Peter restored her health when he appeared to her in prison. Then she was laid out on a bed of burning bricks, upon which she was burned. After this she was again cast into prison. There, she delivered her blessed soul into the hands of God.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Thou wast a fragrant flower of virginity, and an undefiled bride of the Lifegiver; thou didst desire the Source of all good and excel in martyrdom. O glorious Agatha, intercede by thy holy prayers for those who lovingly honour thy contest.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Let the Church be arrayed today in glorious purple, dyed with the chaste blood of the Martyr Agatha, and let us cry: Rejoice, thou boast of Catania.