Lucia of Syracuse, Lucia de Syracuse, Lucy of Syracuse
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She lived in a time of Christian persecution.
Saint Lucy’s Day is December 13th and on this day people indulge in a special dessert created in her honor.
Saint Lucy (283–304), also known as Saint Lucia or Santa Lucia, was a wealthy young Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint by Roman Catholic Church, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is 13 December; with a name derived from Lux, Lucis meaning "Light", as she is the patron saint of those who are blind. Saint Lucy is one of the few saints celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church among the Scandinavian peoples, who take part in Saint Lucy's Day celebrations that retain many elements of Germanic paganism.
Saint Lucy is one of seven women, aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. Hagiography tells us that Lucy was a Christian martyr during the Diocletian persecution. She consecrated her virginity to God through pious works refused to marry a pagan betrothed, and had her wedding dowry distributed to the poor. Her betrothed pagan groom denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse, Sicily. Miraculously unable to move her or burn her, the guards took out her eyes with a fork. In another version, Lucy's betrothed admired her eyes, so she tore them out and gave them to him, saying, "Now let me live to God".
The oldest record of her story comes from the fifth-century accounts of saints' lives. By the 6th century, her story was widespread, so that she appears in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory I. At the opening of the 8th century Aldhelm included a brief account of her life among the virgins praised in De laude virginitatis, and in the following century the Venerable Bede included her in his Martyrology. In medieval accounts, Saint Lucy's eyes are gouged out prior to her execution. In art, her eyes sometimes appear on a tray that she is holding.
Until 1861 relics of Saint Lucy were venerated in a church dedicated to her in Venice; after its demolition, they were transferred to the church of San Geremia.
The Roman Catholic calendar of saints formerly had a commemoration of Saints Lucy and Geminianus on 16 September. This was removed in 1969, as a duplication of the feast of her dies natalis on 13 December and because the Geminianus in question, mentioned in the Passio of Saint Lucy, seems to be a merely fictitious figure, unrelated to the Geminianus whose feast is on 31 January.