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Liturgical day: February 5th: St. Agatha, virgin and martyr

Gospel text (Lk 9,23-26): Jesus also said to all the people, «If you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it». Jesus also said to all the people, «If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world while you destroy or damage yourself? If someone feels ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Glory and in the Glory of his Father with his holy angels».

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we commemorate the martyrdom of a young Christian virgin Agatha who lived one of the bloodiest persecutions by the Roman Empire, under Emperor Decio. She had consecrated her virginity to God, and when she was arrested for being a Christian, first, they tried to convince her to make sacrifices to the gods; not getting it, they forced her to prostitution as punishment. Agata asked God for help and did not faint before his torturers.

—Now she is patron of Catania and all of Sicily and the surroundings of the Etna volcano, and she is invoked to prevent fire damage.