St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr: A Day of Celebration
According to the traditional story, Lucy was born of noble Greek parents in Syracuse, Sicily about the year 283. She made a vow of virginity and distributed her wealth to the poor. This generosity angered the youth to whom she had been unwillingly betrothed and who denounced her to Paschasius, the governor of Sicily. When it was decided to violate her virginity in a place of shame, Lucy, with the help of the Holy Spirit, stood immovable. A fire was then built around her, but again God protected her. She was finally executed by a sword.
As the name, Lucy, derives from ‘lux’ or ‘light’, she has become associated with festivals of light and with invocations against afflictions of the sight. Legend has it that she was blinded by her persecutors. The church of San Giovanni Maggiore at Naples even claims to possess her eyes.
against hemorrhages; authors; blind people; blindness; cutlers; dysentery; eye disease; eye problems; glaziers; hemorrhages; laborers; martyrs; peasants; Perugia, Italy; saddlers; salesmen; stained glass workers; Syracuse, Sicily; throat infections; writers.
Saint Lucy, your beautiful name signifies light. By the light of faith which God bestowed upon you, increase and preserve this light in my soul so that I may avoid evil, be zealous in the performance of good works, and abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and of sin. By your intercession with God, obtain for me perfect vision for my bodily eyes and the grace to use them for God’s greater honor and glory and the salvation of all men. Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. Amen.
Reflection and Customs
Saint Lucia Day
Dec 13 is Saint Lucia day in Sweden, where each town’s voted “Sankta Lucia” wears a crown of candles and, escorted by girls in white with a red sash and “star boys”, wanders the town bringing light and song (and saffron buns!)