SAINT LUCY’s LIFE
Lucy was born by noble parents around 280 in Syracuse, a wonderful city at the seaside. Her father died when she was a baby and she was grown by her mother, Eutichia, from whom she learned the truth of the Christianity and Jesus’ message of love. So Lucy knew the Christianity, the history of the first Christians, their martyrdom for love of Jesus so that her heart was captured by Jesus and Lucy decided to devote herself to Him promising perpetual virginity.
Lucia, worried about the growing disease of her mother, a bad haemorrhage, suggested the pilgrimage to the sepulchre of martyr Saint Agate, in Catania, victim of the persecutions of all Christians ordered by emperor Decio in 251. Many people gathered to her sepulchre to obtain graces because the reputation of the glorious Saint was well know because of her miracles, and Lucy was sure by heart that her beloved mother would be recovered, too.
Eutichia accepted hopeful and they arrived in Catania just in the day of Saint Agate’s festivity, on 5th February 301. During the celebration they listened to Matthew’s Gospel where it was reading the story of the woman, suffering from haemorrhage, who was recovered after touching the cape of Jesus.
Lucy said her mother to touch Saint Agate's sepulchre as she was convinced of the powerful intercession of the Saint.
While Eutichia touched the sepulchre, Saint Agate appeared to Lucy in vision and said “Lucy, dear sister, why are you asking me what you can obtain yourself for your mother? Your mother has already recovered because of your faith. And like Catania is beatified because of me, so Syracuse will be saved because of you".
Lucia told her mother “Through Saint Agate’s intercession, Jesus has healed you" and immediately Eutichia felt stronger and she realised that she had been healed.
Lucy understood that it was the right moment to reveal her mother her intention to devote herself to Jesus, and to donate her rich wedding dowry to the poor. Eutichia, who was very merciful for the received grace, consented.
A young person of her city, felt in love for Lucy, disappointed for the refused wedding, as Lucy had explained him that she had devoted to Jesus, for revenge denounced her as follower of Christ to the roman prefect Pascasio. Emperor Diocletian had ordered a strong repression against the Christians.
Lucia was arrested and lead in front of prefect Pascasio, who ordered her to make sacrifices to the pagan gods and renegade Christian faith. Lucy refused firmly, Pascasio realised that he would not obtain anything and then he ordered that the girl was taken into the worse slums of the city and violated.
The soldiers tried to drive her away, but they could not move her; they tied her hands and feet with ropes, but they did not succeed to move her: inexplicably the girl stood strongly like a rock. God did not allow anybody to carry her away.
Pascasio thought that such wonder was magic work and ordered that she was burnt like a witch. He ordered that pitch and oil were poured on her body.
But the flames did not hurt Lucy.
Pascasio condemned her to the decapitation, death deserved to the noble people. Before the execution Saint Lucy foresaw the death of Diocletian some years later, and the end of the persecutions in 313 A.D. thanks to Constantine.
Lucy was killed on 13th December 304 and was buried in the same place where in 313 a sanctuary was constructed.
In 1039 George Maniace, general from Byzantium, moved the body of Saint Lucia from Syracuse to Constantinople, as Syracuse was going to be invaded by Saracens.
In 1204 during the forth crusade the doge of Venice, Enrich Dandolo, finds the body of the Saint in Constantinople, takes it to Venice into the monastery of Saint George and in 1280 moves it into the church dedicated to her in Venice.
Saint Lucy has saved Syracuse several times from scarcities, earthquakes, wars and she acted also in other cities like Brescia that, thanks to her intercession, was freed from a serious scarcity.
The devotion to Saint Lucy begins immediately after her death and it continue until now. The most ancient testimony is a marmoreal epigraph in Greek of the IV the century discovered in 1894 in the catacombs of Syracuse.
Pope Gregorio Magnus, 590 - 604, inserted Saint Lucia in the canon of the roman mass. Some citations are in the Theological Summa of Saint Thomas d’ Acquino. Saint Catherine from Siena, Saint Leone Magnus were devout to her.
Dante, devout to her, calls her symbol of the enlightening Grace. As he writes in the Convivial, he often recalled to her in order to recover from disturbs to the eyes.
Saint Lucy is the protector of the eyes.
The popular legend narrates, that her eyes were torn from the orbits. For this reason some iconography represents the Saint with a tray in hand on which the eyes are placed.
TRADITION ABOUT SAINT LUCY
The festivity of Saint Lucy is on 13th December.
In North Italy, in Czechoslovakia and also in Austria, Saint Lucy carries gifts for the children.
In Denmark and Sweden the Saint is represented by a girl who, together with other girls, carries gifts to children and charity institutions.
In Sweden she is venerated a lot also by the Lutheran Church.
With her martyrdom, Saint Lucy has shouted her love for Jesus in the history.
Her heart burned like a furnace of divine Love, and this sweeping force made her to face human anguish.
Saint Lucia was able to accept sacrifice and pain, in the faith in that Jesus living in her soul.
That heart, free to throb for love, had made her to reach virtues, in that way aiming to win human.
Looking at Saint Lucy, we are overflowed by her warm and wrapping light, by the aroma of her virtues and upset towards her sacrifice.
We can ask, through her powerful intercession, that she gives fire inside us to the burning flame of the divine Love, and makes the little trees of the virtues to sprout to enflame hope again to be saved.
Also in difficulties and in need we can ask her for help, sure of being answered.
How nice it would be to have her nearby helping us to cover the way to the summit lost in God’s Heaven.