Feast Day: December 13
St. Lucy - December 13th
Lucy, a name meaning light, is often depicted holding a dish with two eyes on it. This refers to a legend in which Lucy’s eyes were put out as part of her torture. The legend concludes with God restoring Lucy’s eyes. Lucy is the patron saint of the blind and those with eye-trouble.
Lucy’s name means “light”, with the same root as “lucid” which means “clear, radiant, and understandable.” Lucy’s history does not match her name. Shrouded in the darkness of time, all we know is that this brave woman, who lived in Sicily, lost her life in the persecution of Christians in the early 14th century. Her veneration spread to Rome, and by the 16th century the whole Church recognized her courage in defense of the faith. Because people wanted to shed light on Lucy’s bravery, legends grew. 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 arranged 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 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 sentenced her to prostitution but the guards who came to take her away found her stiff and too heavy to move. 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 painful deaths for their faith during Diocletian’s reign.
Whatever the fact to the legends surrounding Lucy; the truth is that her courage to stand up and be counted a Christian in spite of torture and death should be the light that leads us on our own journeys through life.