Virgin Martyr (c. 283 - 304)
This saint was one of the earliest Christian martyrs to achieve popularity. According to an ancient tradition, Lucy's parents were wealthy nobles at Syracuse, Italy. Her father died young, and though Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, her widowed mother, Eutychia, insisted upon her betrothal to a young noble pagan. Perhaps Lucy hoped, like St. Cecilia, to be able to convert her husband and persuade him to respect her dedication.
Eutychia was suffering from haemorrhages, and at her daughter's suggestion journeyed with her to the miracle-working tomb of St. Agatha at Catania, some 50 miles away. There she was instantly and completely cured. With a heart overflowing with gratitude, she now gave in to her daughter's repeated pleading and permitted her to distribute a large part of her inheritance among the poor. This, however, aroused the covetousness of her worldly-minded finance to such a degree that he denounced her before the governor of Sicily as a Christian.
It was the time of the fierce Diocletian persecution. In the Emperors mind the worship of the Roman gods was inextricably bound with unity and loyalty to the State. Thus, to strengthen the empire, The Christians would have to conform or be exterminated, though they might in every other respect be staunch patriots.
As a result of Lucy's resoluteness, she was subjected to horrible and shameful torture _ she was ordered to be exposed to prostitution in a brothel, but this was thwarted by divine intervention; she was next ordered to be burnt to death but proved impervious to the flames. She finally died on 13 December 304, a sword thrust through her throat. She is the Patroness of Syracuse (Sicily), and, possibly because of her name, which is suggestive of light or lucidity, she was invoked against eye-trouble in the middle ages.
Reflection :"Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit" (St. Lucy).