Sunday, December 13, 2015

For All the Saints: St. Lucy

On nearly all Christian calendars, today is the day St. Lucy (in Italian, Santa Lucia) is honored. Wikipedia provides many of the kinds of celebrations of St. Lucy's Day, including Scandinavia and Italy. One of the eight women commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass, she was about twenty when she was martyred, circa 304 in Syracuse, during the Diocletian Persecution. The earliest accounts of her life are from the 400s, Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda Aurea. By the Middle Ages, legends developed that her eyes were  gouged out (or that she removed her own eyes) prior to execution, but that her eyes were miraculously restored when her body was taken for burial. The legends implicitly connect eyes with the Latin word for light (lux, plural luces) and her name, as does the prayer at this site:

Saint Lucy, you did not hide your light under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world, for all the centuries to see. We may not suffer torture in our lives the way you did, but we are still called to let the light of our Christianity illumine our daily lives. Please help us to have the courage to bring our Christianity into our work, our recreation, our relationships, our conversation -- every corner of our day. Amen.

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