Agatha a female Christian martyr, born at Palermo, in the third century. Quintianus, the pagan governor of Sicily (A.D. 251), captivated with her charms, and incensed by her rejection of his illicit overtures, tortured her in the most brutal manner. By his order she was first scourged with rods, then burnt with red-hot irons and cruelly torn with sharp hooks; after which she was laid upon a bed of live coals mingled with glass. She died in prison February 5, A.D. 251. The history of Agatha, however, given by the Bollandists, is suspected of corruption. — Tillemont, 3, 209; Butler, Lives of Saints, Feb. 5.

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