Saint Lucy was born December 13 and is the patroness of blindness. Her birth year and death date are both unknown, as well as who beatified and canonized her.
Much of Lucy’s history has been lost, but we know she lived in Syracuse and died during the Christian persecutions in the early fourth century. Her veneration spread through Rome until, in the sixth century, the Church recognized her courage in defense of the Faith.
There are several legends concerning Lucy, with most depicting her as a lover of God from a young age. After vowing to dedicate her life to Christ, her mother attempted to arrange a marriage for her with a pagan. Her mother was very ill, so Lucy appealed to Saint Agatha and her mother was healed. Following the miracle, Lucy was able to persuade her mother to allow her to use her dowry money for the benefit of the poor, as well as to live her life in commitment to God. After her mother decided not to force her into marriage, the spurned bridegroom reported Lucy’s faith to the governor, Paschasius.
As punishment for her faith, Lucy was sentenced to defilement at a brothel, but when Paschasius’ guards arrived, they were unable to move her, even after they hitched her to a team of oxen.
When she could not be moved, Paschasius ordered her death and bundles of wood were heaped around her, but they would not burn.
Lucy warned Paschasius, claiming he would be punished, but he ordered the guards to gouge out her eyes and to use their swords, which finally killed her.
When her body was being prepared for burial, it was discovered her eyes had been restored, so she became known as the patroness of the blind and is often seen with the emblem of eyes on a cup or plate. In certain paintings, she can be seen holding her eyes and a palm branch in a symbol of victory over evil.
To learn more about St. Lucy, and to read her fun facts, please visit Catholic.org and remember to browse the saints collection at catholicshopping.com.