St. Lucy (Santa Lucia)


Also Known as:
Virgin and Martyr

Feast:
13 December

Born:
trad. ca 283 AD

Died:
trad. ca 304 AD

Canonized:
Pre-Congration

Patronage:
blind; martyrs; Perugia, Italy; Mtarfa, Malta; epidemics; salesmen, Syracuse, Italy, throat infections, writers


 

Lucy’s name means “light”, with the same root as “lucid” which means “clear, radiant, and understandable.” Unfortunately for us, Lucy’s history does not match her name; because people wanted to shed light on Lucy’s bravery, legends grew up. The one that is passed down to us tells the story of a young Christian woman who had vowed her life to the service of Christ. Her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her with a pagan. Lucy apparently knew that her mother would not be convinced by a young girl’s vow so she devised a plan to convince her mother that Christ was a much more powerful partner for life. Through prayers at the tomb of Saint Agatha, her mother’s long illness was cured miraculously. The grateful mother was now ready to listen to Lucy’s desire to give her money to the poor and commit her life to God.

Unfortunately, legend has it, the rejected bridegroom did not see the same light and he betrayed Lucy to the governor as a Christian. This governor tried to send her into prostitution but the guards who came to take her way found her stiff and heavy as a mountain. Finally she was killed. As much as the facts of Lucy’s specific case are unknown, we know that many Christians suffered incredible torture and a painful death for their faith during Diocletian’s reign. Lucy may not have been burned or had a sword thrust through her throat but many Christians did and we can be sure her faith withstood tests we can barely imagine.

O glorious Santa Lucia, who combined the profession of faith with the glory of martyrdom, help us to openly profess the truths of the Gospel and to walk in faith according to the teachings of our Saviour.

Oh Virgin of Syracuse, be thou the light in our life and the model for our actions so that, after following in thy footsteps here on earth, we can rejoice together with thee in the vision of our Lord.
Amen.

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