Saint of the Day ~ December 13

SAINT LUCY OF SYRACUSE (c.283-c.304), virgin and martyr – patroness against blindness, eye disease and hemorrhages

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Lucy, a woman who committed her life to God, even in the face of martyrdom.

According to tradition, Saint Lucy was born of rich and noble parents around the year 283 in Syracuse, Sicily.  Her father was of Roman origin, but his early death left her dependent upon her mother, whose name, Eutychia seems to indicate that she was of Greek heritage.

Like so many of the early Christian martyrs, Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, and she hoped to devote all her worldly goods to the service of the poor.

Her mother had arranged a marriage for her, but for three years she managed to postpone the event. Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha to change her mother’s mind, so that she may fulfill her desire to serve Christ through her virginity. As a result, a long hemorrhagic illness from which her mother had suffered was cured, and her mother agreed with Lucy’s desire to live her life for God.

Since the prior arranged marriage was being called-off, in anger, Lucy’s rejected bridegroom denounced Lucy as a Christian to the governor of Sicily. The governor then planned to force her into prostitution, but when guards went to arrest her, legend has it that her body became so heavy that they could not move her, even when she was hitched to a team of oxen.

There are some discrepancies as to the manner in which she died, but one legend continues to tell us that, since they could not move her, the governor ordered her killed. After torture that included having her eyes removed, the executioners attempted to burn her alive, but were unable to set her aflame. She was then executed by being killed with a sword about the year 304.

One legend says her eyesight was restored before her death. This and the meaning of her name (clarity, light and radiance) led to her connection with eyes, the blind, eye trouble, and other eye ailments.

Listed in the Roman Martyrology, we commemorate her feastday on December 13.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Lucy)

“Lord, give us courage through the prayers of Saint Lucy. As we celebrate her entrance into eternal glory, we ask to share her happiness in the life to come.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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