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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Lucy (Lucia), Martyr at Syracuse, 304.

Not much is known about Lucy (Santa Lucia in Italian) other than that she was born into a wealthy family in Syracuse, Italy, in the late third century and was martyred while still a young woman in the Diocletian persecution in 303.

Her name means “light” and her feast day is celebrated by families in Northern Europe by dressing the eldest daughter in a white robe and placing a wreath with lighted candles on her head.

Tradition has it that Lucy, like many young women of her day, wished to remain a virgin rather than marry the pagan to whom her parents betrothed her. After Lucy"s prayers healed her mother of a debilitating illness, her mother granted Lucy"s wish to distribute her dowry to the poor in Syracuse and remain unmarried. The erstwhile fiancé, however, denounced Lucy as a Christian and she was imprisoned, tortured, and finally killed when she did not renounce her dedication to Christ.

Lucy was a much venerated, very popular saint in the early church, and her name is included, along with six other women, in both the Roman and Ambrosian Canons of the Mass.

May we, like Lucy, shed light on the world around us through selfless generosity. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Loving God, for the salvation of all you gave Jesus Christ as light to a world in darkness: Illumine us, with your daughter Lucy, with the light of Christ, that by the merits of his passion we may be led to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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