About The Patron Saint


Santa Lucia was a young Sicilian girl, from Siracusa that lived around the 3rd or 4th Century
Lucia was a rich girl, probably beatutiful and a bride-in-waiting to a youngster from the same city of Siracusa. She was desitned to live the life of many other girls in the 3rd-4th century, and namely that of a wife and mother.
Her father was probably called Lucio, in line with a Roman rule that stated that the daughters had to carry the name of their father. Her mother was called Eutychie or Eutichia.
Following a serious haemorrhage that hit her mother Eutychie, Lucia decided to go to Catania to pray on the tomb of the martyr Agata. Here God chose her for a big project: through an apparition of Agata, she was asked to dedicate her life to the poorest, to the suffering and to the neglected. On her return to Sicily, she started to put in place this project: She broke her engagement, and started going around the city catacombs to distribute her marriage gift (“dota”) to the poorest people of the city.
The abandoned boyfriend did not accept this decision, probably due to his attraction to her family riches rather than a result of pure love! Otherwise there would be no other plausible reason to explain why the guy decided to accuse Lucia of being a Christian in front of Pascasio, the roman prefect.
It is worth pointing out that these were considered as Christian dark ages, a period of persecution led by Diocleziano. Paradoxically they were a period of big test for Christian faith, such as the one provided by Lucia. She was arrested, threatened and tortured to renounce to her faith, but she did not accept.
On seeing this, Pascasio condemned her to death, but before that he sent her to a prostitutes ‘house’; Lucia said that “the body can only be contaminated if the soul accepts” and consequently not even six men and six mules managed to move her from where she was.
Before her execution, Lucia managed to receive the Eucharist and made two prophecies: that of the death of Diocleziano, which happened a few years later as announced, and also the end of Christian persecution, which happened in 313AC, with the Edict of Constantine, which declared religious tolerance.
Her burial and remains are subject to 2 traditions:
Metz : Lucia’s body remained in Siracusa until VIII AC. Then the Duke of Spoleto, Faroaldo, on conquering Siracusa took her in Abruzzo, at Corfinium (the present Pentima). The Emperor Ottone I, the Great, visited Italy in the 10th Century, together with Teodorico, the Bishop of Metz. They discovered Lucia’s remains in Corfinium, and in 969 took the remains to France.
Constantinople: In 822, Maniace, a Byzantine General transferred the remains of Santa Lucia from Siracusa to Constantinople, in order to take them in a safe place, in view of an invasion threat from the Saracens. In 1204, during the Crusade, Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice, took the remains at St George’s monastery in Venice. In 1280, the remains were put at a church which he dedicated to Santa Lucia. Her remains are now conserved in the church of Santi Geremia e Lucia in Venice, Italy.
In 1894, a burial scripture was found in St John’s catacomb in Siracusa, which confirm the very old cult, and consequently the existence, of the saInt, which has devotions around the world. In this scripture, written in Greece, there is a homage to Euschia, who died in Santa Lucia’s feast day.
Except this scripture (below), any information about Santa Lucia is derived from the “Passione”, a narration of popular tradition.
This information has been translated and adapted from the site Cara Santa Lucia. Special thanks for their authorisation to traslate and publish this information.
Last Update: December 2005

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