Thursday, 13 December 2012

St. Lucy

St. Lucy lived in the Fourth Century, and was born into a wealthy family in Syracuse in modern Sicily. She is understood to have lost her father when young, and to have been brought up and educted by her mother, Eutychia. From an early age, she devoted herself to God, and vowed to consecrate  her life to Him. She kept this vow secret until her mother attempted to arrange her marriage to a young, pagan Roman.

Lucy knew that Eutychia would not be easily disuaded, and so spent time in prayer at the tomb of St. Agatha, which eventually led to the miraculous cure of her mother from a long-standing haemorrhage. Following this, Eutychia became sympathetic to Lucy's wishes, and supported her choice to live in consecrated virginity, and to donate her wealth to the poor.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of her former suitor, who, in his anger, betrayed her to the Roman authorities as a Christian: this was the time of the notorious persecution by the Emperor Diocletian. Lucy was ordered to be forced into prostitution, but miraculously, he became physically immovable, and could not be carried off to this fate. Instead, she was tortured and eventually martyred. One legend tells that she was blinded, which is why she is depicted carrying a dish containing her diembodied eyes. She is nowadays invoked as Patron Saint of the blind.

In the current climate, it might be appropriate to invoke St. Lucy's aid in combatting the present climate of sexual licentiousness, and in 'opening the eyes' of our politicians to the potential consequences of some of the current proposals for legislation.
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.

 Happy Feast!

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