We don’t know much about Saint Lucy; however, there are quite few legends that surround her life. We do know that she was a “cradle” Catholic and educated in the Faith by her mother, Eutychia, who was a widow. She is believed to be a native of Syracuse in Sicily. Without her mother’s knowledge and approval, St. Lucy made a vow at a young age to always remain a virgin for Jesus Christ. Today, Saint Lucy would be known as a consecrated virgin.
As Saint Lucy grew in maturity and age, her mother sought to arrange a marriage for her to a young Roman pagan. Realizing that her mother would never fully understand her vow of virginity, she devised a plan to pray to St. Agatha to heal her mother, who suffered many years with an illness. She knew that if her mother was healed by the power of God; she could show her that God’s power is greater than any spouse could be. Through the intercession of St. Agatha, Saint Lucy’s mother was healed miraculously of her sickness. Coming to terms what had happened through God’s power, Eutychia, allowed Lucy to give her money to the poor and remain a virgin for Jesus Christ.
The young Roman pagan was so upset that he could not marry Lucy; he accused her of being a Christian, turned her in to the local governor, who then had her arrested. She was sentenced to prostitution, however, when the guards went to take her away, they found her to be as stiff as a board and very heavy. They could not move her!
During the reign of Emperor Diocletian, which saw the martyrdom of many early Christians, Saint Lucy was killed in 304 A.D. Before her death by the sword, there is a legend that Diocletian had the eyes of St. Lucy plucked out. With God’s grace, her eyes and sight were restored. This is why we see pictures with St. Lucy holding a pair of eyes. She is the Patroness of the Blind.
Although legends surround her life, one fact remains; Lucy endured many great trials and sufferings because she lived her life as Christian for Jesus Christ. For us today, who endure sufferings for being Christians in a Neo-Pagan culture, she is the example of the true Christian witness. Let us invoke the intercession of Saint Lucy so that we may remain strong when faced with great adversity for being Catholic Christians in a world that is hostile to us.
Hoever, Rev. Hugo. Lives of the Saints.Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1989.