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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art


Flourished 3rd century C.E. (?), Sicily

According to legend, the Christian martyr Agatha, after rejecting the advances of a Roman prefect (a civil or military official), was tortured and her breasts cut off. She was then persecuted for her religious beliefs and sentenced to burn at the stake but was saved by an earthquake. She allegedly died in prison in C.E. 250/251. Agatha is celebrated by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of breast cancer patients on February 5, her feast day.