On St. Agatha’s feast day, people bake and bless loaves of bread. But this bread is not to be eaten: this bread is for protection from fire and calamity.

Who was St. Agatha?

St. Agatha was born in Sicily in C.E. 231. She was imprisoned for rejecting the advances of a Roman prefect, Quintianus during the Christian persecution. Quintianus threw her into jail and tortured her, yet she courageously professed her faith. She died a martyr’s death in C.E. 251 at just twenty years old.

Blessing the Bread

Tomorrow is St. Agatha’s feast day, and parishes will be blessing bread for protection. Parishioners take the bread home and instead of eating it, keep it at home to protect them from fire and calamities. The bread is also said to protect travellers on long journeys.

You can read more about St. Agatha here. Does your parish have this tradition?