Eucharistic Crusade
The Story of St. Lucy, Martyr

St. Lucy was born in Syracuse, Sicily (an island near Italy), of rich and noble parents, about the year 283. Her father, a Roman, died when Lucy was still an infant. Her mother, Eutychia, took great care to teach her in the ways of piety and the Catholic Faith. Because of her mother’s teaching, Lucy grew in virtue and holiness. When she was yet very young, she vowed her virginity to God, and she wanted to give all her worldly goods to the poor. She kept this vow a secret, however, and her mother, not knowing about the vow, pressed Lucy to marry a young man who was a pagan.

Lucy did what she could to stop this marriage from taking place. At the same time, God allowed Eutychia to become sick with a hemorrhage (an incurable loss of blood). Even though Eutychia sought the help of many doctors, she suffered from hemorrhage for four years.

In time, Lucy persuaded her mother to go to Catana, to the tomb of St. Agatha, to beg for a cure of her hemorrhaging. St. Agatha was a virgin-martyr, whose tomb was less than fifty miles from Syracuse. Her fame had spread far and wide since she had died fifty-two years before, in the Decian persecution. When they arrived at St. Agatha’s tomb, Mass had already started, and at that moment, the passage of the Gospel was being read, about Our Lord’s cure of a woman with a similar blood problem.

At this point, Lucy said to her mother, “If you believe what you have just heard, you should also believe that Agatha is always in the presence of Jesus in Heaven, for whose name she suffered martyrdom. And if with this same faith, you touch St. Agatha’s tomb, you will instantly recover your health!”

So, after Mass, when all the people had left, the mother and her daughter stayed to pray at the tomb. Lucy then fell asleep, and had a vision of holy Agatha, adorned with precious stones and surrounded by angels.

Agatha said, “My sister Lucy, virgin consecrated to God, why do you ask me for something that you yourself can do for your mother? Indeed your faith has already cured her!”

Then Lucy awoke and said to her mother, “Mother, you are healed. But in the name of her to whose prayers you owe your cure, I beg of you to release me from my espousals, and give to the poor whatever you have saved for my dowry.”

“Why not wait until I am dead and you have closed my eyes,” her mother answered, “and then do whatever you wish with our wealth?”

But to this Lucy replied, “What you give away at death you can not take with you. Give while you live and you will be rewarded.”

Lucy and her mother returned home, and every day gave some of their possessions to the poor. When Lucy’s husband to be, heard about this, he asked the girl’s nurse what was going on. The nurse put him off by telling a lie, “Lucy has found a better property which she wishes to buy in your name, and for that reason she is selling some of her possessions.” Now telling a lie is a sin, but perhaps the nurse was only a pagan and didn’t know the Catholic truths.

Lucy’s husband to be saw future gain for himself, and began to help out with the selling. But when everything had been sold, and the money given to the poor, he learned that Lucy was a Christian and turned her over to the Consul: Paschasius, saying, “Lucy is a Christian and she is acting contrary to the laws of the emperors!”

Paschasius summoned Lucy to his court and commanded her, “Offer sacrifice to the idols!”

Lucy: “The sacrifice that is pleasing to God is to visit the poor and help them in their need. And since I have nothing left to offer, I offer myself to the Lord!”

Paschasius: “Tell that story to fools like yourself, but I abide by the decrees of my masters, so don’t tell it to me!”

Lucy: “You obey your masters’ laws, and I shall obey the laws of my God. You fear your masters and I fear God. I take pains not to offend God. You want to please them, I wish to please Christ. Do then what you think will be of benefit to you, and I shall do what I think is good for me!”

Paschasius: “You have wasted your money with corrupt people and you talk like a sinful woman!”

Lucy: “I have put my money in a safe place, by giving it to the poor; and never have I had anything to do with people who are not pure, or corrupt in mind!”

Paschasius: “Who are these people who are not pure and corrupt in mind?”

Lucy: “You and those like you have corrupt minds, because you try to cause souls to turn away from their God, and Creator. As for those who are not pure, they are those who want us to put sinful pleasures ahead of the eternal joys of Heaven.

Paschasius: “The sting of the whip will silence your lips!”

Lucy: “The words of God cannot be stilled!”

Paschasius: “So you are God?”

Lucy: “I am the handmaid of God, who said to his disciples, ‘You shall be brought before Governors and before Kings for my sake, but when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to say, for it is not you that speak but the Holy Ghost that speaks in you.’”

Paschasius: “So the Holy Ghost is in you?”

Lucy: “Those who live pure lives are the temples of the Holy Ghost.”

       Paschasius: “Then I shall have you taken to a place where you will be forced to commit sins and then you will lose the Holy Ghost!”

Lucy: “You cannot force me to commit sin. You will never be able to force my will! God is with me! Here I am; ready for every torture! What are you waiting for? Son of the devil, begin! Carry out your cruel designs!”

Paschasius: “Guards! Take this woman to a place where she will be forced to commit sin!” But when the men tried to carry Lucy away, God fixed her in her place so firmly that they could not move her!    

          Paschasius: “Guards! Bring in a thousand men. Bind her hands and feet and we will see if this woman can be moved from her spot!”

          But even though the men tried and tried, they could not move St. Lucy from her spot! Next Paschasius sent for a thousand oxen to move the maiden, but the oxen could not budge Lucy from the spot either! And Paschasius called in his magicians to move Lucy as well, but they could do nothing either.

Paschasius: “How is it that neither a thousand men nor a thousand oxen, nor my magicians, can move you? You must be a witch! You have cast a spell on all of them, so that they would not be able to move you!”

Lucy: “I am not a witch! It is the power of Jesus Christ that keeps me firm on this spot. And even if you get 10,000 more men and oxen to try and move me, you will not succeed!” 

Paschasius: “Woman, I’m at the end of my wits! Guards! Pour boiling oil over this woman and build a roaring fire around her!”

Lucy: “I have prayed that my martyrdom would take a long time, in order to give courage to believers—so that they will not fear suffering and in order to give unbelievers time to insult me!”

God did not let the fire destroy Lucy either. She was then thrown into prison, where she suffered for a long time. As the days passed Lucy continued to pray and suffer. When the time came for Lucy to die, God made sure that a priest came to give her Holy Communion. She died in prison from the wounds she had received, when she was about 21 years old; around the year 304.

The relics of St. Lucy are now resting in St. Vincent’s Church, in Italy. Very often, you will see pictures of St. Lucy with her eyes in a dish. It is possible that her eyes were removed from her head as part of her tortures, while she was in prison, but there is no absolute proof of this.

Lucy’s name is in the Canon of the Mass. Beg her to keep you faithful to the Latin Mass and to be a good Catholic all of your life.                                 The End


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