Virgin, martyr (c.251) born Catania or Palermo, Sicily; died Catania. According to her Latin Acts, which, however, are not older than the 6th century, she was annoyed by the Senator Quintianus with avowals of love; as his proposals were rejected, he had her subjected to various cruel tortures, including the cutting-off of her breasts; she died in prison. Her popular veneration was of very early date; her name occurs in the prayer, “Nobis quoque peccatoribus,” in the Canon of the Mass, and in some places bread is blessed after the Consecration of the Mass on her feast and called Agatha bread. Patron of nurses. Emblems: embers, tongs, veil. Feast, Roman Calendar, 5 February.