St Lucy is a renowned saint who was persecuted and became a Christian martyr. Not only is she accepted as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church but also in the Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Churches. St Lucy’s feast day is celebrated on the 13th of December, it was held in her honour in early Britain around the middle ages. Lucy was born into a rich family; however, it has been said that her father passed away when she was only 5 years of age. She consecrated herself to Jesus and wanted to give her life to the needy and poor. So, she hoped to distribute her settlement of marriage to them. Her mother suffered a bleeding disorder and without knowing the decision Lucy had made to God, her mother who was worried about her future; arranged her marriage with a wealthy young pagan man.
St Agatha played a big role in St Lucy’s life. In a dream, she came to Lucy and revealed that God was pleased with her life and the way she lived out her faith. She promised that she would be the glory of Syracuse as she was of Catania. As a reward, St Agatha told that her mother would be cured because of her faith. Later she discovered that her mother was completely healed.
After this, Lucy persuaded her mother to give away the fortunes that belonged to them to the poor. It has been quoted that she said “…whatever you give away at death for the Lord’s sake you give because you cannot take it with you. Give now to the true Saviour, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death.” The news spread to her fiancé that her jewels and valuable items were being distributed among the needy. This enraged him and he denounced her to the governor of Syracuse. Here they tried to force her to burn an offering to the image of the emperor and to this she refused. It was said that when the guards came to collect her they were unable to move her! Additionally, bundles of wood were put upon her and set on fire, however, it would not burn! Finally, she was put to death by a sword.
Through St Lucy’s life, we can understand the love and care she had towards those who were needy. One major factor that we can notice is her boldness to say no to sin when she was asked to burn an offering. May we also get the courage and boldness to stay strong in faith and say no to sin like her! Legend has it that her eyes were gouged out. This is one of the reasons that St Lucy is the patron saint of eye illnesses. When her body was prepared for burial in the family mausoleum it was discovered that her eyes had been miraculously restored.
The emblem of eyes on a cup or plate apparently reflects popular devotion to her as protector of sight, because of her name, Lucia (from the Latin word “lux” which means “light”). In paintings St Lucy is frequently shown holding her eyes on a golden plate and a palm branch which is the symbol of martyrdom and victory.
– by Nihaal Manoj from Derby, UK