Saint Lucy of Syracuse; Patron Saint of the blind

Saint Lucy of Syracuse; Patron Saint of the blind

Lucia of Syracuse was a Roman Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. She is one of the eight women (including the Virgin Mary) explicitly commemorated by Catholics in the Canon of the Mass. Lucia of Syracuse was honoured in the Middle Ages and remained a well-known saint in early modern England. She is one of the best-known virgin martyrs, along with Agatha of Sicily, Agnes of Rome, Cecilia of Rome and Catherine of Alexandria.

Her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her with a pagan. However, Lucy told her mother that Christ was the better partner for life.

After several prayers at the tomb of Saint Agatha, Lucy saw the saint in a dream. St. Agatha told Lucy that her mother's illness would be cured through faith. Lucy used the opportunity to persuade her mother to allow her to commit her life to God and give the dowry money to the poor.

The rejected bridegroom was deeply angered by this and betrayed Lucy's faith to the governor Paschasius. The governor attempted to force her into defilement at a brothel, but the guards who came to take her away were unable to move her, even after hitching her to a team of oxen.

The guards heaped bundles of wood around her, but it wouldn't burn so they finally resorted to their swords, and Lucy met her death.

Lucy's legend did not end with her death. According to later accounts, Lucy warned Paschasius he would be punished. When the governor heard this, he ordered the guards to gouge out her eyes; however, in another telling, it was Lucy who removed her eyes in an attempt to discourage a persistent suitor who greatly admired them.

When her body was being prepared for burial, they discovered her eyes had been restored.

Lucy, whose name can mean "light" or "lucid," is the patron saint of the blind. She is often seen with the emblem of eyes on a cup or plate.

Other Saints of the Day
1. Saint Autbert
2. Saint Antiochus of Sulci
3. Saint Elizabeth Rose
4. Saint John Marinoni
5. Saint Tassio of Bavaria

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