St. Peter's Visit to St. Agatha in Prison

Oil
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Ravenna

Following the narrative in the Golden Legend quite literally, St. Peter comes to St. Agatha's prison cell in the guise of an old man. (To the viewer, however, he is identifiable by the square beard and the keys in his left hand.) He offers to heal Agatha (whose breasts were cut off earlier in the day) with ointments carried in by "a boy carrying a light."

As usual in her portraits, Agatha has long, blond hair and holds a palm branch in her left hand. She points to Heaven because "I have my Lord Jesus Christ, and he by a single word can cure everything … If he so wills, he can cure me instantly." Peter reveals himself and says she has been healed in Jesus' name; then Agatha prays in thanksgiving and finds that her breasts are restored.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

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