Saints and Holy People

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Saint Lucy (c. 283–304)

Saint Lucy (c. 283–304)

Patron saint of the blind and of those with eye disorders

Feast day: December 13

Saint Lucy is a beloved saint in Rome and Sicily. She is one of eight women (including the Blessed Virgin Mary) commemorated in Eucharistic Prayer I of the Mass. She died a martyr around the year 304.

She gave herself totally to Christ in all things. The reading for her feast points to pure speech and service to the Lord. “For then I will make pure the speech of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one accord” (Zephaniah 3:9).

Lucy's mother was unaware of her daughter's consecration to Christ in virginity, and arranged for her to marry a young man from a pagan family. Lucy, who came from a wealthy family, began distributing her inheritance to the poor. According to various accounts, her intended bridegroom became angry at this and accused Lucy of being a Christian, and she was executed in Syracuse, Sicily, during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian.

According to legend, her eyes were gouged out previous to her martyrdom, which accounts for her patronage of those with eye problems. Her name, Lucy, means "light," and, since the eye brings light and vision to the body, her name could be another reason for this association.

In Scandinavian countries, Saint Lucy's Day is celebrated with special breads, and the girls of the household wear wreaths with candles on their heads to serve their parents breakfast in bed! (From Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens [Saint Mary’s Press])

(Image by Serse82, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons