Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
Feast day: December 13
Saint Lucy was a young Christian maiden of Syracuse in Sicily. She had
already offered her virginity to God and refused to marry, when her
mother pressed her to accept the offer of a young pagan. The mother was
afflicted afterwards for several years by an issue of blood, and all
human remedies were ineffectual.
Lucy reminded her mother that a woman in the Gospel, suffering from the
same disorder, had been healed by the divine power. They determined to
make a journey to Catania, a port of Sicily, where the tomb of Saint
Agatha, martyred in 251, was already a site of pilgrimage. “Saint
Agatha,” Lucy said, “stands ever in the sight of Him for whom she died.
Only touch her sepulchre with faith, and you will be healed.” The Saint
of Catania had already saved that city, when Mount Etna had erupted the
year after her martyrdom. Some frightened pagans, seeing a course of
lava descending directly toward the city, had uncovered her tomb, and at
once it had stopped.
Saint Lucy and her mother spent an entire night praying by the tomb,
until, overcome by weariness, both fell asleep. Saint Agatha appeared in
vision to Saint Lucy, and addressing her sister in the faith, foretold
her mother’s recovery and Lucy’s future martyrdom, “You will soon be the
glory of Syracuse, as I am of Catania.” At that instant the cure was
effected, and in her gratitude the mother allowed her daughter to
distribute her wealth among the poor, and to conserve her virginity.
The young man who had sought her hand in marriage denounced her as a
Christian during the persecution of Diocletian, but Our Lord, by a
special miracle, saved from outrage this virgin He had chosen for His
own. The executioners who would have taken her to a house of ill fame
were unable to move her. The exasperated prefect gave orders to attach
her by cords to harnessed bulls, but the bulls, too, did not succeed,
and he accused her of being a magician. “How can you, a feeble woman,
triumph over a thousand men?” She replied, “Bring ten thousand, and they
will not be able to combat against God!” A fire kindled around her did
her no harm, though she was covered with resin and oil. When a sword was
plunged into her heart, the promise made at the tomb of Saint Agatha was
fulfilled. Saint Lucy died, predicting peace for the Church.