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St. Lucia of Syracuse

Lucia of Syracuse is also widely known as St. Lucy. Tradition recounts that Lucia was born to noble, wealthy parents around the year 283. Her father, a Roman, died when she was a child and she was raised by her mother Eutychia, who may have been Greek. Lucia (Lucy) consecrated her virginity to God at an early age. Her mother would have preferred that she married, but after Eutychia was miraculously cured of a hemorrhage through the intercession of St. Agatha, she consented to allow her daughter to be a consecrated virgin. Lucia then distributed much of her inheritance to the poor. A young man who had desired to marry Lucy as much for her wealth as for herself, then denounced her as a Christian to the authorities. She was eventually executed and many legends about her death arose; it was said that she was condemned to serve as a prostitute, but she miraculously became so heavy that the soldiers could not move her to the house of prostitution. She then miraculously escaped being burned to death, even though the fire was started under her. Finally, she was put to death by the sword. Scholars do not doubt her existence or her martyrdom, but question the legends surrounding her death because they sound so similar to other legends, such as those told about St. Agnes. St. Lucy’s feast is kept on December 13. On this day, in many European countries, children will dress as Lucy and carry candles in her honor. She is the patron of good eyesight.

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