Sunday, December 13, 2009


Today [of which five minutes remain as I write] is the festa of Santa Lucia,who was martyred in Siracusa in 304 AD during the Persecution of Diocletian. She is one of my favourite saints, along with St Martin and St Francis, because a feminist reading of her story would bring one to conclude that she was partially condemned for her unconventionality [though I suppose all saints were unconventional].

Lucia consecrated her virginity to God and expressed a wish to give all her worldly goods to the poor. She refused to marry a pagan, but her spurned fiancé had his revenge after Lucia and her mother, Eutychia [or Eutychiaea], visited Catania in the hope that the martyred Sant'Agata of that city would cure Eutychia of a haemorrage. Eutychia was cured and Lucia distributed some of her wealth to the poor, thus incurring the further wrath of her would-be husband, who denounced her to Paschasius, the Governor of Sicily.

First condemned to become a prostitute, Lucia literally could not be moved, so then her persecutors unsuccessfully tried to burn her. Finally she was decapitated with a sword and the story goes that her eyes were gouged out first. One legend has it that only her eyes remained of her, but there is also a story that her body lay undisturbed in Sicily for 400 years before other relics were dispersed. In art, Santa Lucia is often represented with her eyes on a plate and church-goers in Italy are given tiny pieces of pasta representing her eyes on 13th December.

Other symbols of Santa Lucia are the sword and the palm and she is the protector of electricians, eye specialists and the blind.

Andrea Bocelli - Santa Lucia


RNSANE said...

I enjoyed reading about Santa Lucia and the song, by Andrea Bocelli, was just beautiful.

J. M. P. said...

She's my favourite saint. The Christmas markets in my country are called Santa Llúcia markets, and the presentation of the most important literary prizes in the Catalan language is called the night of Santa Llúcia.
Thanks for the information!

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing this interesting story and song. My girls have been dancing around the house and singing along all morning. Thanks!

jams o donnell said...

It's good to see tradition maintained Welshcakes

Lucia said...

My mother called me yesterday to remind me not to eat BREAD.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Carmen and welcome. I love Bocelli's version of this song. Hi, Fullet. Thanks for that information. I didn't know about the literary prize. Hi, Emily. Glad your girls have been singing along! I agree, jams. Hi, Lucia. Why?

Ellee Seymour said...

What a terrible story, so sad, so much unnecessary suffering.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ellee. Yes, unimaginably cruel times.


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