Who was St Agatha? Why is the Feast Day of Saint Agatha celebrated?
Feast of St Agatha in Catania is celebrated from 3th to 5th February every year, on the 12th February on the event of the ottava (the eight-day after the Feast), and on the 17th August.
St. Agatha, otherwise called Agatha of Sicily, is a Christian saint. Her remembrance is on 5 February. Agatha was born at Catania or Palermo, Sicily, and she was martyred in around 251. She is one of seven women, who, alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary, are remembered by name in the Canon of the Mass.
St Agatha is the patron saint of Catania, Molise, Malta, San Marino, Gallipoli in Apulia, and Zamarramala, a municipality of the Province of Segovia in Spain. She is likewise the patron saint of breast cancer patients, martyrs, wet nurses, bell-founders, bakers, fire, earthquakes, and eruptions of Mount Etna.
Saint Agatha is a patron saint of rape victims, breast cancer patients, wet nurses, and bellfounders (because of the shape of her severed breasts). She is likewise viewed as an incredible arbiter when individuals suffer from fires. Her feast day is praised on February 5.
St Agatha is additionally a patron saint of Malta, where in 1551 her intercession through an announced apparition to a Benedictine nun is said to have spared Malta from the Turkish attack.
St Agatha became the patron saint of the Republic of San Marino after Pope Clement XII reestablished the independence of the state on her feast day of February 5, 1740.
St Agatha is additionally the patron saint of Catania, Sorihuela del Guadalimar (Spain), Molise, San Marino, Malta and Kalsa, a historical quarter of Palermo.
St Agatha is claimed as the patroness of Palermo. The year after her demise, the stilling of the ejection of Mount Etna was attributed to her intercession. Thus, individuals kept on approaching her prayers for protection against fire.
In Switzerland, St Agatha is viewed as the patron saint of fire services.
Feast of St Agatha Program
The incredible festivals to pay tribute to St. Agatha are opened on the 3rd of February, on the event of the parade of the Carriage of the Senate. From the 3rd to the 6th of February, the city of Catania celebrates the Saint: music, colors, candles, lights, sparkle, dedication, old stories, feeling and many individuals around the patron Saint accumulate in an undeniable atmosphere that we, from Catania, know well.
On the 3rd February, after the parade of the eighteenth-century carriage through the city center, there are the magnificent firecrackers in Piazza Duomo, which give an incredible show during the night: a significant custom for we from Catania, regardless of whether this implies queueing in the square a few hours prior, to completely appreciate the magic of the fires.
On the 4th of February all the fans, who wear the traditional sack, and residents can meet the Saint, from the early hours of the morning. The statue that contains the Holy Relics of the Patron Saint of Catania, is helped through the streets of the city center, in a journey that represents the martyrdom of the saint.
On the 5th of February, there is the most anticipated moment of the entire celebration and, maybe even the most dreaded one: the rising of Via San Giuliano. The statue is carried by the devotees along this route, characteristic for being a very steep road. This courage test may show a hint of something to look forward to for the present year.
At long last, the 6th February the statue of Saint Agatha comes to Via Crociferi, where the cloistered nuns of the San Benedetto Church pay tribute to the Saint with their songs.
All the celebrations in Catania are encompassed by typical sweets and couldn’t be in any case for the most significant celebration of Catania!