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  • Canvas: Sant'Agata Martire

    Confraternity of S. Agata alle Sciare - Archdiocese of Catania


    Sant'Agata Martire - (Sicily)

    • Confraternity of S. Agata alle Sciare

      The canvas depicting Sant'Agata Martire, patroness of the Diocese of Catania, was found intact after floating on the lava current that hit the city of Catania in 1669. This event was recognized as the first miracle of Sant'Agata by the Ecclesiastical Authority. The painting is venerated in the Church of the Confraternity of S. Agata le Sciare in Catania.

      According to the Catholic tradition, Saint Agatha consecrated herself to God at the age of about 15, but in-depth historical-juridical studies reveal an age of not less than 21 years: in fact, not before this age could a girl be consecrated a deaconess as a actually it was Agata, something documented by the oral tradition of Catania, by the written documents narrating her martyrdom and by the iconographic representations of Ravenna, with particular reference to the white tunic and the red pallium; we can therefore rightly imagine her, more than as a girl, rather as a woman with an active role in her Christian community: a deaconess had in fact the task, among others, of instructing new followers in the Christian faith (catechesis) and preparing the most young people to baptism to first communion and confirmation. During the trial Agata was subjected to, the Lex Laetoria was enacted, a law that protected young people between the ages of 20 and 25.

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