Today, December 13th, the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, a very brave and determined young lady whose fierce and true love of Jesus culminated in her martyrdom.
Lucy was born in or about 283 of rich and noble parents in the city of Syracusa. She lost her father in her infancy, but her mother, Eutychia, educated Lucy in the faith of Jesus, teaching her piety and her Catholic Faith, to which Lucy gave her absolute allegiance, loyalty and devotion.
Lucy loved Jesus and chose to devote her life to Him, having given to Him a pledge of her virginity and complete service, desiring to give everything she owned to the poor. Her mother did not know of her vow to Jesus, pressing her to marry a young nobleman who was a pagan.
During this critical time in Lucy’s life, Eutychia suffered from a “flux of blood” health problem, for about four years. Her physicians found no remedies to cure her. Lucy suggested to her mother that they make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Agatha at Catana and offer up her prayers to God for relief at the tomb of this martyr, who fifty years earlier was killed during the Decian persecution. Indeed and in fact, they made this pilgrimage and God cured Eutychia of this health issue. At this happening, Lucy asked her mother’s permission to allow her to distribute a great portion of her wealth to the poor. Eutychia, in gratitude to Lucy, allowed her to make this distribution.
In the meantime, Lucy’s suitor learned that she had distributed her wealth which constituted in part her rejection of him. Enraged with her decision, in 303 he denounced Lucy before Paschasius, the Governor of Sicily, during the bloody persecution of Christians by the Emperpor Diocletian. The punishment inflicted upon Lucy for her love of Jesus included being sent to a house of prostitution. Nevertheless, God preserved her from this fate by making her immovable, so that she could not be taken to such a place of shame. This is noteworthy in light of her vow of virginity and purity given to Jesus. Next, her persecutors attempted to set Lucy on fire; but they failed at this attempt as well. She finally met her death by sword, and died in prison of the wounds she had received.
She is one of those few female saints who is included in the canon of St. Gregory, and she is also commemorated in the ancient Roman Martyrology. St. Aldhelm in the year 709, first writes of Lucy who uses her Acts to give a full accoubt of her life and death. And then after this, the Venerable Bede inserts the story of St. Lucy in his Martyrology. She is often painted with the balls of her eyes laid on a dish, suggesting that this was one of the tortures she endured during her suffering and martyrdom. Lucy’s intercession is particularly implored for health issues regarding the eyes.
These incredible people, the saints, loved Jesus and the Church He founded so much, that they lived extraordinary lives of love for Him, and like St. Lucy, suffered martyrdom for Jesus. These are the people who should be examples for us of the greatest and purest love, members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven, who are part of our family, and to be remembered and celebrated because they stand in joy before the most holy Triune God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. St. Lucy died for Jesus at the age of 20. She is an example particularly for young people, of courage, loyalty, purity, steadfastness and pure love for Jesus! Thank you dearest Jesus for our St. Lucy!
Recently, my husband came home with a little dove who could not fly that was found at his place of work on the lawn. I named her “Lucy,” because of her purity and I could feel her goodness. Jesus gave us Lucy as our Christmas present. She makes the most beautiful little sounds and we have placed her in a darling little green Victorian house-shaped cage, next to our Christmas tree. Thank you Jesus for Lucy and St. Lucy, please help us take care of this beautiful little creature of God.
Respectfully and Sincerely Written,
One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press, AOL Time Warner Book Group