Lucia of Syracuse, also called Saint Lucia or Saint Lucy, was a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. She is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox churches. Her traditional feast day, known in Europe as Saint Lucy’s Day, is observed by Western Christians on 13 December.
About Saint Lucy in brief
Lucia of Syracuse, also called Saint Lucia or Saint Lucy, was a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. She is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox churches. Her traditional feast day, known in Europe as Saint Lucy’s Day, is observed by Western Christians on 13 December. Lucia of Syracuse was honored in the Middle Ages and remained a well-known saint in early modern England. The oldest record of her story comes from the fifth-century Acts of the Martyrs. The traditional story, Lucy was born of rich and noble parents about the year 283. She had consecrated her virginity to God, and she hoped to distribute her dowry to the poor. She arranged Lucy’s marriage to a young man of a wealthy pagan family, but he denounced her to Paschasius, the Governor of Syracuse. When she refused to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image, she was sentenced to be defiled in a brothel. The Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Bundles of wood were then heaped about her and set on fire, but would not burn. Finally, she met her death by the sword thrust into her throat. In medieval accounts, Saint Lucy’s eyes were gouged out prior to her execution.
This so angered that he ordered to remove her eyes in order to discourage a persistent suitor who admired her. This is one of the reasons that Lucy is the patron of those with illnesses with which she is able to help. She also appears in the ancient Roman Martyrology and later the Venerable Bede of England. In the sixth century, her story was sufficiently widespread that she was commemorated in the Sacrament of St. Gregory I. The story of Lucia tortured by eye-gouging. According to later accounts, before she died she foretold the punishment of Pasch asius and the speedy end of his reign, adding that Dioc letian would reign no more, and Maximian would meet his end, as he had promised to meet the end of the reign of Diocletsis. She was one of eight women explicitly commemorated by Roman Catholics in the Canon of the Mass. The other women are: St. Agatha, St. Paul, and St. John of the Cross, who was martyred 52 years before during the Decian persecution. Her shrine at Catania, less than 50 miles from Syracuse, attracted a number of pilgrims; many miracles were reported to have happened through her intercession. While there, Saint Agatha came to Lucy in a dream and told her that because of her faith her mother would be cured.