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Get to know St. Lucy, the light that shone bright during Christianity’s darkest days

St. Lucy of Syracuse was no stranger to life’s darkest moments. She lived in the fourth century—a time when people were persecuted for their faith. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop her from openly practicing her faith.

Born to noble parents, Lucy had a deep love for Christ in her heart. When her father died, she was left with a large dowry and had many suitors. But the young lady vowed to live her life in service to Christ, helping the poor.

Also Read: How to Raise a Saint 

Lucy’s Vow

Fearing for her daughter’s future, Lucy’s mother Eutychia—who suffered from a bleeding disorder—arranged for her to be married to a pagan man. Lucy refused and asked her mother to distribute the dowry instead to those in need. However, Eutychia did not allow it. Lucy then devised a plan to convince her mother to let her practice her faith in her own way.

Mother-Daughter Miracle

Lucy brought her mother on a pilgrimage to St. Agatha’s shrine in hopes of finding a cure for the latter’s bleeding disorder. The two women prayed fervently until they fell asleep. That was also the time when St. Agatha came to Lucy in her dreams and told her that her mother was healed.

Faithful to the Perilous End

News about Lucy practicing her faith soon reached Paschasius, the governor of Syracuse. Paschasius ordered Lucy to burn a sacrifice in front of the Roman Emperor’s image but Lucy refused, as it was against her faith to worship false gods. Angered, Paschasius sent his guards to forcibly take and defile her in public. But when the soldiers came to take Lucy, she couldn’t be moved—even after being tied to a team of oxen!

 

When she was questioned about her strength, Lucy said it was the power of Jesus. The guards then tried to set her on fire, but the wood wouldn’t burn. Finally, they tortured Lucy and she died as a martyr.

 

St. Lucy, whose name means light, helped Catholics who were hiding in the catacombs. It was said she’d wear a crown of candles to find her way in the dark as she handed out food and water to people.

 

Her feast day is on December 13, and she is the patron saint of the blind and eyesight.

 

 

For the full article, grab a copy of My Pope Philippines December 2019-January 2020 issue.
Text by Yen Cantiga.
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