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Saint Lucy

Saint Lucy
  • Century: 3rd & 4th Century
  • Patronage: Blind People, Martyrs, Epidemics, Salesmen, Throat Infections, Writers
  • Feast Day: December 13th

St. Lucy was a wealthy young martyr.  Her name is derived from Lux, or Lucis, meaning “Light”.   She is one of seven women, beside the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.  Hagiography states that Lucy was a Christian martyr during the Diocletian persecution.  She consecrated her virginity to God through pious works.  She refused to marry a pagan man, and had her wedding dowry distributed to the poor. The betrothed pagan groom denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse, Sicily, and she was sentenced to death for being a Christian.  Miraculously they were unable to move her, or to burn her, so the guards took out her eyes with a fork, thus making her the patron saint of the blind.  

The oldest record of her story comes from the 5th century accounts of the saint’s lives.  Her popularity grew so much by the 6th century that she appears in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory I.  Later, she was included in the Venerable Bede, the book of Martyrology.  Most times in art, her eyes appear on a tray that she is holding.  Until 1861, relics of St. Lucy were venerated in a Church dedicated to her in Venice. After it’s demolition, they were transferred to the Church of San Geremia.  

Practical Take Away

St. Lucy was a martyr from our early Church.  She was a young girl, who was to be married at a young age.  Promising to remain a virgin, she gave her dowry to the poor and refused to marry.  Her prospective husband turned her in to the authorities as a Christian, and she was to be burned to death.  Miraculously they were unable to move her, or to burn her.  Legend has it that they plucked her eyes out in retaliation.  She is the patroness of blind peope, and those with eye problems.