Saint Lucia / Saint Lucy died for the Christian faith in Syracuse, Sicily, in 304, during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The details of her life have been greatly embellished over time, but it is fairly certain she was denounced by a young man who was betrothed to her. She refused to marry him because she felt called to dedicate her life to God. When the man learned that Lucy gave her dowry to the poor he was furious. He brought her before the Governor of Syracuse, who ordered her to sacrifice to the divine emperor. She refused. Tradition holds that she was sentenced to be violated in a brothel. But the guards were unable to move her away. Then her tormentors tried to burn her, but the wood prepared would not light. Finally, the governor had Lucy’s eyes gouged out and she was beheaded.
Saint Lucy has been widely venerated for many centuries. She is one of the martyrs mention in the First Eucharistic Prayer. She is invoked as patron of the blind and those who suffer for the faith. She is also a protector of Italy. Her feast day is on December 13.