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NOTHING WOULD SEPARATE LUCY FROM HER SPOUSE

Father Francis's picture
Saint Lucy

We celebrate the feast of St. Lucy today. She was born in Sicily towards the end of the 3rd century and was brought up in the Christian faith by her widowed mother. It was a dangerous time in which to live, for this was the reign of the emperor Diocletian who severely punished anyone found practising the Christian religion.

At a very early age Lucy decided she wanted to dedicate herself to God, but for a while she kept her intention secret. A young pagan nobleman wanted to marry her, and her mother urged her to accept him. Lucy delayed giving her answer, still saying nothing about her secret vow.

Meanwhile, Lucy's mother was suffering from a chronic illness, and Lucy persuaded her to go and pray at the tomb of St. Agatha. Their prayers were answered and the mother was cured. It was at this point that Lucy told her mother she couldn't marry as she wanted to offer her life to God as a consecrated virgin. Her mother gladly consented but when the young man heard that Lucy was selling her personal possessions to give money to the poor, he angrily denounced her to the authorities as a Christian.

Lucy was arrested, imprisoned and subjected to humiliation and torture, from which she died, in the year 304. It was as if her tormentors couldn't understand or tolerate her goodness and had to try and destroy it.

Lucy is perhaps a lesser known saint today, but this was not always the case. She was honoured in Italy from the 6th. century onwards, and in England her feast was kept as a special day until the time of the Reformation. Her name appears in the First Eucharistic prayer alongside Agatha, the saint to whom she prayed for her mother's recovery.

It is said that during her torture Lucy's eyes were plucked out. This may be just a legend, but she is still invoked in cases of blindness or disease of the eyes. We can also remember that her name means "Light." We ask Lucy to help young girls be pure and we place the sight of our eyes in her hands.