Tag Archives: St Lucy

Saint Lucy

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May the glorious intercession of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy give us a heart, we pray, O Lord, so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday in this present age.

Saint Lucy’s life is rather obscure now with the passage of time and the lack of accurate records from her period in history. She died c. 304 during the time of Diocletius. Since Saint Gregory the Great added Lucy’s name to the Roman Canon in the 6th century we hear her name with other virgin martyrs.

Remembering liturgical history, the liturgical memorial of Saint Lucy was commemorated on the shortest day of the year on the Julian calendar. The meaning of “Lucy” is drawn from the Latin word “lux,” light, hence Lucy illumines our path to Christ; her light shines in the darkness.

Today, December 13, is no longer the shortest day of the year with the least amount of light but we retain the memorial of Lucy, a woman linking us to the Lord through the light of her life of virtue.

Hagiography points us in a direction:

Light is beautiful to look upon; for as Ambrose says: it is the nature of light that all graciousness is in its appearance. Light also radiates without being soiled; no matter how unclean may be the place where its beams penetrate, it is still clean. It goes in straight line, without curvature, and traverses the greatest distances without losing its speed. Thus we are shown that the blessed virgin Lucy possessed the beauty of virginity without trace of corruption; that she radiated charity without any impure love; her progress toward God was straight and without deviation, and went far in God’s works without neglect or delay.

Blessed James of Voragine
The Golden Legend

Lucy’s courage, like that of Saint Agatha’s (to whom she prayed for her mother’s conversion), Saint Barbara and the other virgin-martyrs is a key reminder that we ought to focus our attention on the Lord in a single-minded manner.

I’d like to remember those who live with physical blindness, particularly my late maternal great aunt Bea and uncle Walter. They were such good examples of courage. Just as it is said that Saint Lucy’s eyesight was restored before her death, may those who lived in blindness see clearly the beauty of the Lord.

And, prayers ought to rise up for the Xavier Society for the Blind in NYC.

Prior posts in 2010 and 2011.

Saint Lucy

The people of Sicily and northern Europe especially remember Saint Lucy as their heavenly patron and friend. I have a particular fondness for her because Saint Lucy is an early martyr of the Church and because an aunt and uncle lived with physical blindness.

We pray at Mass with these words…

May the glorious intercession of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy give heart, we pray, O Lord, so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday in this present age and so behold things eternal. 

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Hermina Tharway, 12, prepares for exams at Santa Lucia, a home for blind people in Abou, Egypt (image by Holly Pickett).

The Santa Lucia Home — named in honor of the patron saint of the blind — was built with funds from CNEWA’s donors and houses ten girls and eight boys from ages 8 to 18. The children do not attend school next door, which is not equipped to teach the blind. Rather, they are enrolled in public programs in other areas of the city. The boys attend El Nour School in Alexandria’s Muharram Bey neighborhood, while the girls attend a similar school in the Zizina area. 

Sister Souad and her colleague, Sister Hoda Chaker Assal, rouse the children every morning for breakfast, baths and a 7:45 date with the school bus. 

“Here we wake them and prepare them for school, we feed them and do their laundry and we tuck them in at night and make sure they get a good rest,” says Sister Souad. “It is just like at home.”

For more from this story see, Blind to Limitations.

h/t to One to One, the blog of Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Saint Lucy, martyr

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In your patience, O Lucy, you
possessed your soul; you have hated the things of this world, O bride of
Christ, and so received glory among the angels; you vanquished the adversary, O
martyr, with your own blood.

(Magnificat Antiphon, First Vespers of St. Lucy)

Today is a good day to remember in prayer before Saint Lucy the people of Sicily, those who live with blindness, diseases of the eye, salesmen and for my friend and seminarian Ken Dagliere on his birthday.

Saint Lucy

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While Saint Lucy prayed, there appeared unto her blessed Agatha, who comforted the handmaid of Christ.

Hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the feast of blessed Lucy, Thy virgin and Martyr, so may we also be strengthened in the love of true piety.
Since Saint Lucy is the patron saint of those diseases of the eyes, let us remember these people before God through the intercession of Saint Lucy. Also, let us pray for those women who live their lives in the Order of Consecrated Virgins that Saint Lucy will guide them.

Saint Lucy

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A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day

by John Donne


‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,

Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;

         The sun is spent, and now his flasks

         Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;

                The world’s whole sap is sunk;

The general balm th’ hydroptic earth hath drunk,

Whither, as to the bed’s feet, life is shrunk,

Dead and interr’d; yet all these seem to laugh,

Compar’d with me, who am their epitaph.


Study me then, you who shall lovers be

At the next world, that is, at the next spring;

         For I am every dead thing,

         In whom Love wrought new alchemy.

                For his art did express

A quintessence even from nothingness,

From dull privations, and lean emptiness;

He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot

Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.


All others, from all things, draw all that’s good,

Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;

         I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave

         Of all that’s nothing. Oft a flood

                Have we two wept, and so

Drown’d the whole world, us two; oft did we grow

To be two chaoses, when we did show

Care to aught else; and often absences

Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.


But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)

Of the first nothing the elixir grown;

         Were I a man, that I were one

         I needs must know; I should prefer,

                If I were any beast,

Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest,

And love; all, all some properties invest;

If I an ordinary nothing were,

As shadow, a light and body must be here.


But I am none; nor will my sun renew.

You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun

         At this time to the Goat is run

         To fetch new lust, and give it you,

                Enjoy your summer all;

Since she enjoys her long night’s festival,

Let me prepare towards her, and let me call

This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this

Both the year’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.


John Donne. Poems of John Donne. Vol. I. E. K. Chambers, ed. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 45-46.


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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