Happy Feast of St. Agatha!

Today is the feast day of St. Agatha, who fought off an icky Roman “suitor,” and was persecuted for her Christianity by banishment to a brothel and various tortures, including breast amputation and attendant rolling in glass. She is considered the patroness of breast cancerees. To celebrate, let’s look at some images of the mutilated martyr.


Here’s Sebastiano del Piombo’s Martyrdom of St. Agatha. The expression of the guy in the blue tunic on the right is traumatizing in itself, then you follow his pincers down to a huge, gleaming knife. I think we all know what’s going to happen next. *Shudder.*



She is often depicted with her breasts on a tray, frequently with a “Can I tempt you guys with some dessert?” expression. I like this one. She’s all “Yeah, I’m ‘staying positive.'”


Obviously, there’s going to be a Sicilian dessert shaped like her breasts: minni di virgini, which, it must be said, are probably delicious.


© Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

And when all our buildings have crumbled to dust and the pyramids and Mt. Rushmore are all that are left of human glory, there will also be this: St. Agatha’s breasts sculpted into the fortification walls of Mons Var, France. Take that, Quintanius.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.