Do you need a Prayer?
Saint Lucy
Saint Lucia's remains, Church of San Geremia,Venice,

I have travelled to Venice several times over the past few years on business and always took a day off to wander around Venice. I would usually take a train early Saturday morning and got off at the main station in Venice and walk down the steps, over the Rialto Bridge and through the narrow streets to Mark's Square. I became very familiar with this area of Venice. I organised a Mediterreann Cruise with my colleagues to leave on a Saturday September 2009 and return the following Saturday but as I felt we needed at least two days to enjoy Venice we arrived on the Thursday before sailing on the Saturday.

My wife's brother-in-Law had serious cancer surgery some months earlier and was wheelchair bound, but not to spoil his first Cruise I agreed I would look after him and pushing him in the wheelchair was no problem. Acting as the guide to our group we arrived at the Rialto Bridge in Venice which you would normally cross over to get to Marks Square one of the main tourist attractions in Venice, but my sister-in-law said we would never get the Wheelchair over the high and long bridge, so with my little knowledge of Venice I told her we would walk further on this side of the canal and cross another bridge, as all bridges would eventually lead to Marks Square. Off we went walking along this side of the canal until it eventually opened out into a small very old area with old high-rise houses typical of what was visible through the narrow Venetian Streets. What did catch my eye was an old church in the corner of the square. At first glance you would have assumed this old Church was closed. On a closer inspection we found it was open. So while I remained with my Brother-in-Law in his wheelchair the rest went in to look around. I probably would not have bothered going in but something struck me to go in myself and have look around. As soon as my sister-in-law came back, I too went into the Church. The church was completely empty but I did notice one old man cleaning the alter. There was many lovely old large paintings hanging on the walls as I moved around heading to the main alter. On the Alter I noticed a skeleton in a glass case on the high alter and on closer look saw "Santa Lucia" I was wondering was this anything to do with the song "Santa Lucia" so I hummed a little of the tune to the guy cleaning the alter and I pointed to the glass case with the remains, although he spoke no English he obviously understood what I was humming as I pointed to the glass case with the remains. He acknowledged immediately that it was in fact the remains of Saint Lucia of which the famous song "Santa Lucia" was about. So my curiosity got the better of me as I strolled further around the alter and noticed a small door partly opened and leading into a small room. On closer inspection I saw no one was there. It was a little bookshop with photo's and relics of Saint Lucia. I bought two or three little pictures one containing a relic of Saint Lucia, (depositing the money into a small box provided).

That evening I read the leaflet about this young 18-year-old girl put to death because she was a Christian.

Saint Lucy was born into a rich noble Roman family. At a very young age she lost her father who was a Christian. Lucy was left behind with a huge dowry. Lucy’s mother wanted Lucy to marry a rich pagan man. Lucy did not want to marry a pagan man. Lucy asked her mother to distribute their wealth amongst the poor. The mother did not agree. As a young teenager, Lucy helped her fellow Christians hiding in the dark underground catacombs who were at risk of suffering persecution and death. She would wear a wreath of candles on her head to find her way in the dark, as her hands were full of food and drink for the people.
St Lucy was also well known for her beautiful eyes.
Lucy’s mother became very ill from a bleeding problem. She had tried many treatments, but failed. Lucy then asked her mother to accompany her to Saint Agatha’s shrine where they both prayed all night. Due to exhaustion, they both fell asleep near St. Agatha’s tomb. St. Agatha appeared to Lucy in a dream and gave her the good news that her mother was healed. Saint Agatha further informed Lucy that she will be the glory of Syracuse – the city where Saint Lucy lived. Lucy’s mother convinced with her miracle cure, then complied with Lucy’s request to distribute their wealth among the poor. The Pagan man proposed to Lucy was furious when he heard the news. He decided to destroy Lucy’s life denouncing her as a Christian to the Governor of Syracuse, Sicily. That was a time where many Christians were persecuted for their faith and suffered death. The governor sent his guards to find Lucia. Finally they tortured Lucy to death and she died as a Martyr. There are legendary stories about St Lucy’s eyes. As Lucy had beautiful eyes, the Pagan man who wanted to marry Lucy, Asked he be given Lucy’s eyes. The story tells us that during the torture, Lucy’s eyes were taken out. That was the reason she became the patron saint for people who are blind and with eye problems. This is why Saint Lucy is venerated as a virgin and martyr.
St Lucy is also the patron saint of Syracuse. Over the centuries many people have been healed by God through the intercession of St Lucy.

Very early the next morning I was listening to a bedside radio while at sea on the Cruise Ship and happen to tune to an Italian Station broadcasting maybe a Mass or Novena but they continually recited something which kept ending with the words Santa Lucia. For many days after this, Saint Lucia was on my mind. I mentioned this to a very good friend of mine (who had also been in the Church) who had a young son waiting on tests results and was worried about the outcome of these tests. She would have cancelled the Cruise but was advised that, not going on the Cruise already booked would make no difference to the outcome. She asked me for the picture of Saint Lucia, so I gave her the picture which also held a relic. Some days after she prayed regularly to Saint Lucia and was delighted that her son got the all clear on her visit to the Hospital a week later after returning home. Since then my friend prays regularly to saint Lucia.

I could tell you many things that have happened to me in the months since this event and many times I have asked favours of Saint Lucia. Many of the results are scary so much so, I feel embarrassed I ask so many things so often and Saint Lucia so far has never let me down. Believe me when I tell you I am not a religious person, but, there are many strange things that happen in life and accidentally finding this small Church in that little corner of Venice with the remains of Saint Lucia has had some very extraordinary consequences since my return from Venice.
I received a telphone call from the wife of a colleague in Cork who unfortunately lost his sight some years ago. His wife was enquiring how and where to get to the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin. Then after the call it occured to me to do the decent thing and ring back and offer to collect them off the train and drive them to the Hospital. When they arrived at the station and getting into my car his wife whispered to me would I say a little prayer for her Husband that the test he was to undergo was to see if he was suitable for a new breakthrough that could restore his eyesight. As they entered the Hospital enterance his wife again said not to forget to say a prayer. I answered back that I would pray to Saint Lucia. When I got home I decided to print out this sheet on Saint Lucia and send it to my colleagues wife. I was astonished when I realised that Saint Lucia is the patron saint of the Blind.
She is Santa Lucia to the Italians, Santa Lucia to the Swedes, and St. Lucia, or St. Lucy, to all English Speakers. Saint Lucia's portraits show her holding her two eyes on a plate and she is known for helping people with eye problems.

I would like share this story with anyone who might need a little prayer during difficult times. So often you will hear some one say, “Say a Prayer for me that it turn out ok". Here is a Saint I think will listen to your request.

I dedicate this little true story to my Brother-in Law who died peacefully six months after the Cruise. Had it not been for his illness and his determination to see Venice and go on the Cruise, I would never have found this lovely old church with the remains of Saint Lucia

Feast day is 13th December

If you lose something or cannot find something ask St.Lucia to find it for you