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LUCIA OF SYRACUSE (283–304), also known as SAINT LUCY or SAINT LUCIA (Latin : _Sancta Lucia_), was a young Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution . She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic , Anglican
Anglican
, Lutheran
Lutheran
, and Orthodox Churches. She is one of eight women who, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary , are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass . Her feast day, known as Saint
Saint
Lucy\'s Day , is celebrated in the West on 13 December. St. Lucia of Syracuse was honored in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and remained a well-known saint in early modern England.

CONTENTS

* 1 Sources * 2 Life

* 3 Veneration

* 3.1 Relics

* 4 Patronage * 5 Iconography * 6 In literature * 7 Popular celebration

* 8 List of dedications to Saint
Saint
Lucy

* 8.1 Churches * 8.2 Places * 8.3 Schools * 8.4 Other

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

SOURCES

All that is really known for certain of Lucy is that she was a martyr in Syracuse during the Diocletianic Persecution of 304 AD. Her veneration spread to Rome, and by the 6th century to the whole Church. The oldest archaeological evidence comes from the Greek inscriptions from the catacombs of St. John in Syracuse.

The oldest record of her story comes from the fifth-century _Acts_. Jacobus de Voragine 's _Legenda Aurea _ was the most widely read version of the Lucy legend in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
. In medieval accounts, Saint
Saint
Lucy's eyes are gouged out prior to her execution.her

LIFE

All the details of her life are the conventional ones associated with female martyrs of the early 4th century. John Henry Blunt views her story as a Christian romance similar to the Acts of other virgin martyrs.

According to the traditional story, Lucy was born of rich and noble parents about the year 283. Her father was of Roman origin, but died when she was five years old, leaving Lucy and her mother without a protective guardian. Her mother's name Eutychia, seems to indicate that she came of Greek stock.

Like many of the early martyrs, Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, and she hoped to distribute her dowry to the poor. However, Eutychia, not knowing of Lucy's promise, and suffering from a bleeding disorder, feared for Lucy's future. She arranged Lucy's marriage to a young man of a wealthy pagan family. _ Eutychia and Lucy at the Tomb of Saint
Saint
Agatha_, by Jacobello del Fiore

Saint
Saint
Agatha had been martyred fifty-two years before during the Decian persecution. Her shrine at Catania, less than fifty miles from Syracuse attracted a number of pilgrims; many miracles were reported to have happened through her intercession. Eutychia was persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania
Catania
, in hopes of a cure. While there, St. Agatha came to Lucy in a dream and told her that because of her faith her mother would be cured and that Lucy would be the glory of Syracuse, as she was of Catania. With her mother cured, Lucy took the opportunity to persuade her mother to allow her to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor.

Eutychia suggested that the sums would make a good bequest, but Lucy countered, "...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 Savior, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death."

News that the patrimony and jewels were being distributed came to Lucy's betrothed, who denounced her to Paschasius, the Governor of Syracuse. Paschasius ordered her to burn a sacrifice to the emperor's image. When she refused Paschasius sentenced her to be defiled in a brothel. The Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Bundles of wood were then heaped about her and set on fire, but would not burn. Finally, she met her death by the sword. _ Lucy Before the Judge_, by Lorenzo Lotto , 1523–32

Absent in the early narratives and traditions, at least until the 15th century, is the story of Lucia tortured by eye-gouging. According to later accounts, before she died she foretold the punishment of Paschasius and the speedy end of the persecution, adding that Diocletian would reign no more, and Maximian would meet his end. This so angered Paschasius that he ordered the guards to remove her eyes. Another version has Lucy taking her own eyes out in order to discourage a persistent suitor who admired them. When her body was prepared for burial in the family mausoleum it was discovered that her eyes had been miraculously restored.

VENERATION

Saint
Saint
Lucy by Domenico Beccafumi , 1521, a High Renaissance recasting of a Gothic iconic image (Pinacoteca Nazionale , Siena
Siena
)

By the 6th century, her story was sufficiently widespread that she appears in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory I . She is also commemorated in the ancient Roman Martyrology. St. Aldhelm (English, died in 709) and later the Venerable Bede
Bede
(English, died in 735) attest that her popularity had already spread to England, where her festival was kept in England until the Protestant Reformation, as a holy day of the second rank, in which no work but tillage or the like was allowed.

Sigebert of Gembloux wrote a mid-eleventh century _passio _, to support a local cult of Lucy at Metz
Metz
.

The General Roman Calendar formerly had a commemoration of Saints Lucy and Geminianus on 16 September. This was removed in 1969, as a duplication of the feast of her _dies natalis _ on 13 December and because the Geminianus in question, mentioned in the _Passio_ of Saint Lucy, seems to be a fictitious figure, unrelated to the Geminianus whose feast is on 31 January.

RELICS

Sigebert (1030–1112), a monk of Gembloux , in his _sermo de Sancta Lucia_, chronicled that her body lay undisturbed in Sicily
Sicily
for 400 years, before Faroald II, Duke of Spoleto , captured the island and transferred the body to Corfinium in the Abruzzo
Abruzzo
, Italy. From there it was removed by the Emperor Otho I in 972 to Metz
Metz
and deposited in the church of St. Vincent. It was from this shrine that an arm of the saint was taken to the monastery of Luitburg in the Diocese of Speyer – an incident celebrated by Sigebert in verse.

The subsequent history of the relics is not clear. According to Umberto Benigni, Stephen II (768) sent the relics of St. Lucy to Constantinople
Constantinople
for safety against the Saracen incursions. On their capture of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 1204, the French found some relics attributed to Saint
Saint
Lucy in the city, and Enrico Dandolo , Doge of Venice
Venice
, secured them for the monastery of St. George at Venice
Venice
. In 1513 the Venetians presented to Louis XII of France the saint's head, which he deposited in the cathedral church of Bourges
Bourges
. Another account, however, states that the head was brought to Bourges
Bourges
from Rome, where it had been transferred during the time when the relics rested in Corfinium.

The remainder of the relics remain in Venice: they were transferred to the church of San Geremia when the church of Santa Lucia was demolished in 1861 to make way for the new railway terminus. A century later, on 7 November 1981, thieves stole all her bones, except her head. Police recovered them five weeks later, on her feast day. Other parts of the corpse have found their way to Rome, Naples, Verona, Lisbon, Milan, as well as Germany, France and Sweden.

PATRONAGE

Lucy's Latin name _Lucia_ shares a root (_luc-_) with the Latin word for light, _lux_. This has played a large part of Saint
Saint
Lucy being named as the patron saint of the blind and those with eye-trouble.

She is also the patroness of Syracuse in Sicily, Italy. At the Piazza Duomo in Syracuse, the church of Santa Lucia alla Badia houses the painting " Burial of St. Lucy (Caravaggio) ".

Saint
Saint
Lucy is also the patron saint of the Caribbean
Caribbean
island of Saint Lucia , one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles.

ICONOGRAPHY

Saint
Saint
Lucy, by Francesco del Cossa
Francesco del Cossa
(c. 1430 – c. 1477)

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. Lucy was represented in Gothic art holding a dish with two eyes on it. She also holds the palm branch, symbol of victory over evil.

IN LITERATURE

Dante
Dante
also mentions Lucia in _Inferno _ Canto II as the messenger "of all cruelty the foe" sent to Beatrice from "The blessed Dame" (Divine Mercy), to rouse Beatrice to send Virgil to Dante's aid. She has instructed Virgil to guide Dante
Dante
through Hell and Purgatory. Lucia is only referred to indirectly in Virgil's discourse within the narrative and does not appear. According to Robert Harrison, Professor in Italian Literature at Stanford University, and Rachel Jacoff, Professor of Italian Studies at Wellesley, Lucia's appearance in this intermediary role is to reinforce the scene in which Virgil tries to fortify Dante's courage to begin the journey through the Inferno.

In the _ Purgatorio _ IX:52–63, Lucy carries the sleeping Dante
Dante
to the entrance to Purgatory. Then in _Paradiso _ XXXII Dante
Dante
places her opposite Adam
Adam
within the Mystic Rose in Canto XXXII of the Paradiso. Lucy may also be seen as a figure of Illuminating Grace or Mercy or even Justice.

Lucia is also the protagonist of a Swedish novel: "Ett ljus i mörkret" ("A light in the darkness") by Agneta Sjödin.

Her feast day was commonly described as the shortest day of the year, as it is in John Donne 's poem, "A Nocturnal upon St. Lucie's Day, being the shortest day " (1627). The poem begins with: "'Tis the year's midnight, and it is the day's".

In JM Coetzee's Booker Award winning novel _ Disgrace _, Lucy Lurie plays a central role as the protagonist's daughter.

POPULAR CELEBRATION

Saint
Saint
Lucia procession in Sweden. Main article: Saint
Saint
Lucy\'s Day

Lucy's feast is on 13 December, in Advent
Advent
. Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, before calendar reforms, so her feastday has become a festival of light.

This is particularly seen in Scandinavian countries, with their long dark winters. There, a young girl dressed in a white dress and a red sash (as the symbol of martyrdom) carries palms and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head. In both Norway and Sweden, girls dressed as Lucy carry rolls and cookies in procession as songs are sung. It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.

A special devotion to St. Lucy is practiced in the Italian regions of Lombardy , Emilia-Romagna , Veneto
Veneto
, Friuli Venezia Giulia , Trentino-Alto Adige , in the North of the country, and Sicily
Sicily
and Calabria
Calabria
, in the South, as well as in Croatian coastal region of Dalmatia . The feast is a Catholic-celebrated holiday with roots that can be traced to Sicily. On 13th of every December it is celebrated with large traditional feasts of home made pasta and various other Italian dishes, with a special dessert of wheat in hot chocolate milk. The large grains of soft wheat are representative of her eyes and are a treat only to be indulged in once a year.

In Omaha, Nebraska , the Santa Lucia Festival is celebrated each summer. Founded in 1925 by the Italian immigrant Grazia Buonafede Caniglia, it continues to this day. Members of the ethnic Italian community process with a statue of Saint
Saint
Lucy through the streets of downtown Omaha, carrying also a first-class relic of Saint
Saint
Lucy.

A Hungarian custom is to plant wheat in a small pot on St. Lucy's feast. By Christmas green sprouts appear, signs of life coming from death. The wheat is then carried to the manger scene as the symbol of Christ in the Eucharist.

In the Philippines
Philippines
, villagers from Barangay Sta. Lucia in Magarao , Camarines Sur, hold a novena to St. Lucy nine days before her feast. A procession of the saint's image is held every morning at the poblacion or village centre during the nine days leading up to St. Lucy's Day, attracting devotees from other parts of the Bicol Region . Hymns to the saint, known as the _Gozos_, as well as the Spanish version of the Ave Maria are chanted during the dawn procession, which is followed by a Mass .

LIST OF DEDICATIONS TO SAINT LUCY

This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it .

CHURCHES

Saint
Saint
Lucy's chapel, cathedral, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy

Saint
Saint
Lucy's Church, Methuen, Massachusetts

* Church of Saint
Saint
Lucia (Iglesia de Santa Lucía), Mérida, Mexico * St. Lucia church, Puthoor, India. * St. Lucia church, Erayumanthurai, India. * St. Lucia\'s Cathedral , Kotahena , Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* Church of San Geremia and the grave of Saint
Saint
Lucy, Venice
Venice
, Italy * Church of St. Lucia at the Tomb (Church of St. Lucia Outside the Walls), Syracuse, Sicily, Italy * Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia, also Syracuse, Sicily. * St. Lucy Catholic Church, Highland Beach, FL. United States * Église Sainte-Lucie de Vallières, Metz
Metz
, Moselle , France * St. Lucy's National Shrine
Shrine
at Micoud , Saint
Saint
Lucia * St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr Parish, Capalonga, Camarines Norte , Philippines * Sta. Lucia Parish, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Sasmuan, Pampanga , Philippines * Sta. Lucia Parish, Barangay Manggahan, Pasig City
Pasig City
, Philippines * Santa Lucia in San Jose Recoletos Parish Church, Cebu City, Philippines * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Magarao, Camarines Sur , Philippines * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Samal, Bataan * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, San Miguel, Bulacan * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, San Juan City , Metro Manila , Philippines * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Lubao, Pampanga , Philippines * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Masantol, Pampanga , Philippines

* Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Sta. Ana, Pampanga, Philippines
Philippines
- CPC rj simbillo * Sta. Lucia Cupang, Chapel. Arayat pampanga. * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Pinulot, Dinalupihan, Bataan * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Barangay Sucad, Apalit, Pampanga
Apalit, Pampanga
, Philippines * Sta. Lucia Chapel, Valenzuela, Metro Manila , Philippines * Sta. Lucia Mini-Parish, De Castro Subd., Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City, Philippines * Namayan Chapel, Barangay Namayan, City of Malolos, Bulacan * St. Lucy\'s Church (Manhattan) (parish established 1900; present church built 1915) * St. Lucy's Church, Bronx, New York, U.S.A. (established in 1927) * Sta. Lucia Catholic Church, El Paso, TX * St. Lucy\'s Church , Newark, New Jersey * Church of St. Lucija, Santa Luċija, Gozo
Gozo
, Malta * St. Lucy's Chapel, St Lucy Street, Naxxar, Malta * Medieval Chapel of St. Lucy, limits of Mtarfa Malta
Malta
* New Church of St. Lucy, Mtarfa, Malta * Medieval Chapel of Saint
Saint
Lucija Gudja Malta * St. Lucia's Cathedral, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* St. Lucia Church, Poonapity, Kaddaikadu, Puttlam, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* Free Church of Santa Lucia * Santa Luzia Church, Viana Do Castelo, Portugal * St. Lucy's Church, North Lanarkshire , Scotland * Cerkev Svete Lucije, Skaručna , Slovenia * Iglesia de Sta. Lucia, Maracaibo
Maracaibo
, Venezuela * St. Lucy's Church, Syracuse, New York * Saint
Saint
Lucia Church, Ruiru Membley, Kiambu Kenya * Chapel of Saint
Saint
Lucy, Barcelona Cathedral * Sta. Lucia Parish Church, Sta. Lucia, Asturias, Cebu, Philippines * Sta. Lucia Parish Church(IFI), Barangay Perez, Bulakan, Bulacan, Philippines * Parish of Sta. Lucia (IFI), Barangay Pondol, Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, Philippines

Parish of St. Lucy, Barangay Sta. Lucia Poblacion, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Philippines

PLACES

* Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur , Philippines * Santa Lucía, La Rioja , Argentina
Argentina
* Santa Lucia, Magarao , Camarines Sur
Camarines Sur
, Philippines
Philippines
* Sta. Lucia Village Phase 4, Punturin , Valenzuela City , Metro Manila Philippines
Philippines
* Saint
Saint
Lucie County, Florida * Barangay Sta. Lucia, Novaliches , Quezon City
Quezon City
, Metro Manila Philippines
Philippines
* Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City
Pasig City
, Metro Manila Philippines
Philippines
* St. Lucia Estuary, KwaZulu Natal , South Africa * St. Lucia , Caribbean
Caribbean
* St Lucia, Queensland , Australia * Santa Lucia, Malta * Saint
Saint
Lucy, Barbados , Caribbean
Caribbean
* Port Saint
Saint
Lucie, Florida USA * Sta. Lucia, Asturias, Cebu, Philippines * Sta. Lucia, Guimba, Nueva Ecija

SCHOOLS

* Sta. Lucia Elementary School, Bagong Sirang, Sta. Lucia, Magarao, Camarines Sur, Philippines * Sta. Lucia Elementary School, Masantol, Pampanga, Philippines * Sta. Lucia Elementary School, De Castro Subd., Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City, Philippines * St. Lucia's School, Kotahena, Colombo, Sri Lanka * St. Lucy Catholic Elementary School, Brampton, Ontario, Canada * Sta. Lucia High School Novaliches, Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines * St. Lucy\'s Priory High School , Glendora, California
Glendora, California
, USA * St. Lucy Day School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. * St. Lucy's School of Archdiocese of Pampanga, Sasmuan, Pampanga, Philippines * St. Lucy's School, Bronx, New York, U.S.A. (dedicated in 1955)

OTHER

* The Order of St. Lucy, a religious order in Dallas, Texas * Saint
Saint
Lucy Hill , otherwise known as _Cerro Huelen_, Santiago, Chile. * Venezia Santa Lucia railway station , Venice, Italy * Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall , Cainta, Rizal , Philippines

SEE ALSO

* Saints portal

* List of Eastern Orthodox saints * List of Roman Catholic saints * Saint