Saint Lucy

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Celebrated December 13

Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

St. Lucy is said to have been martyred in Syracuse, Sicily, about 304, during the persecution under Diocletian. Devotion to her in Sicily was popular by the fifth century, and from there, during the following centuries, it spread to Rome and northern Italy. Her name is found in the Roman Canon, and it was probably placed there by Pope Gregory the Great.

Whatever else is said about St. Lucy’s martyrdom is derived from an account of her death written about two centuries later and is hence of questionable reliability. The Hieronymian Martyrology gives the date of her death as December 13.

The name Lucy means “light,” and this is most probably why she had been invoked, especially during the Middle Ages, against blindness and in cases of eye disease.

She is often portrayed with two eyes on a dish. The prayer of the Mass today makes a play on her name when it asks God to fill us with joy and light so that we may one day contemplate his glory with our eyes.

May the glorious intercession
of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy
give us new heart, we pray, O Lord,
so, that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday
in this present age and so behold things eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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