St Agatha was martyred in Catania during the Decian persecution, in about the year 251. The Acts of her death record: ‘As the order [for her death] was executed, immediately the place where the holy body was turned was shaken … even the whole city of Catania was shocked by the vexation of the earthquake. So they all ran to the judge’s court and began to tumble greatly, because he was tormenting the holy servant of God, and all of them were in grave danger … After a year … Mount Etna erupted a great fire, and like a fiery river, so the fiery liquid, melting stones and earth, came to the city of Catania’. Crowds flocked to Agatha’s grave to ask for her intercession, and miraculously, the flow of lava ceased. So her cult began, and she became known as the patron saint of that region.

May she pray for us, and may God bless you this day.