V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Deus, qui inter cetera potentiae tuae miracula etiam in sexu fragili victoriam martyrii contulisti: concede propitius; ut qui beatae Agathae Virginis et Martyris tuae natalitia colimus, per eius ad te exempla gradiamur.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
O God, Who among other wonders of Your power have given the victory of martyrdom even to the gentler sex, graciously grant that we who commemorate the anniversary of the death of blessed Agatha, Your Virgin and Martyr, may come to You by following her example.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
From the Office of Matins:
Agatha, in Sicília nobílibus paréntibus nata, in persecutióne Décii imperatóris, Cátanæ gloriósum martyrium fecit. Nam cum Quintiánus, Sicíliæ prætor, ómnibus modis eius pudicítiam frustra tentásset, Agatha, superstitiónis christiánæ nómine comprehénsa, primum cólaphis cæditur, dein admótis candéntibus láminis in equúleo torquétur, tum ei mamílla abscínditur. Mox coniécta in víncula, a beáto Petro Apóstolo, noctu ei apparénte, sanátur. Rursum evocáta a prætóre et in Christi confessióne persevérans, in acútis téstulis et candéntibus carbónibus ei subiéctis volutátur. Sed ob ingéntem terræmótum veheménter commóta civitáte, Quintiánus, véritus pópuli tumúltum, eam semimórtuam clam redúci ímperat in cárcerem; ubi paulo post migrávit in cælum, Nonis Februárii.
V. Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R. Deo grátias.
Agatha, born in Sicily of noble parents, suffered a glorious martyrdom at Catania In the persecution of the emperor Decius. For when Quintianus, the praetor of Sicily, had vainly tried every means to tempt her from her virginity, he had her arrested as adhering to the Christian superstition. First she was beaten,then tortured on the rack with white hot iron plates laid on her; then one of her. breasts was cut off. Next she was thrown into prison, where St. Peter the Apostle appeared to her by night and healed her. Again called before the praetor she persevered in confessing Christ, and he had her rolled over broken pottery and burning coals. But then a great earthquake violently shook the city, and Ouintianus, afraid of a riot among the people, gave orders that Agatha, now half dead, secretly be taken back to prison. There after a short time she went to heaven on February 5.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.