Monday, December 12, 2011
Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Virgin and Martyr
Saint Lucy of Syracuse (also known as Lucia of Syracuse; Lucia de Syracuse), virgin and martyr, was a rich, young Christian of Greek ancestry born in Syracuse, Sicily, around 283. She was of a noble Greek family, brought up as a Christian by her mother, Eutychia. Her Roman father died when she was young. Her mother had arranged a marriage for her. For three years she managed to keep the marriage on hold. To change the mother's mind about the girl's faith, Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha, and her mother's long hemorrhagic illness was cured. After her mother's miraculous cure Lucy was allowed to make a vow of virginity and to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor, and Lucy became known as a patron of those with illnesses like her mother's.
This charitableness stirred the greed of Paschasius, the unworthy young man to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed, and he denounced her to the Governor of Sicily as a Christian. The governor sentenced her to forced prostitution, but when guards went to fetch her, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. The governor ordered her killed instead. After torture that included having her eyes torn out, she was surrounded by bundles of wood which were set afire, but again God saved her, and the fire went out. She prophesied against her persecutors, and was executed by being stabbed in the throat with a dagger or sword . Her name is listed in the prayer "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass.
Legend says her eyesight was restored before her death. This and the meaning of her name (Light; Bringer of Light) led to her connection with eyes, the blind, eye trouble, and epidemic diseases.
Saint Lucy of Syracuse died in Syracuse, Sicily around 304, her relics are honored in churches throughout Europe.
Labels: Catholic Church, Catholic Saints, Christian Heroes, Martyrs, Memorial, Religious People, Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic Church