Thursday, December 13, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Lucy of Syracuse

Also known as
Lucia of Syracuse; Lucia de Syracuse

13 December

Rich, young Christian of Greek ancestry. Raised in a pious family, she vowed her life to Christ. Her Roman father died when she was young. Her mother, Eutychia, 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 new faith, Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha, and her mother's long haemorrhagic illness was cured. Her mother agreed with Lucy's desire to live for God, and Lucy became known as a patron of those with maladies like her mother's.

Her rejected pagan bridegroom, Paschasius, denounced Lucy as a Christian to the governor of Sicily. 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; they went out. She prophesied against her persecutors, and was executed by being stabbed to death with a dagger. 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 led to her connection with eyes, the blind, eye trouble, etc.

c.283 at Syracuse, Sicily

stabbed in the throat c.304 at Syracuse, Sicily; her relics are honoured in churches throughout Europe


Name Meaning
light; bringer of light (= Lucy)

against hemorraghes; authors; Begijnendijk, Flemish Brabant, Belgium; blind people; blindness; cutlers; dysentery; epidemics; eye disease; eye problems; glaziers; hemorraghes; laborers; martyrs; Mtarfa, Malta; peasants; Perugia, Italy; saddlers; salesmen; sore eyes; sore throats; stained glass workers; Syracuse, Sicily; throat infections; Villa Santa Lucia, Latium, Italy; writers

cord; eyes; eyes on a dish; lamp; swords; woman hitched to a yoke of oxen; woman in the company of Saint Agatha, Saint Agnes of Rome, Barbara, Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Thecla; woman kneeling before the tomb of Saint Agatha