Sainte Lucie de Syracuse-RELICS

Saint Lucia of Syracuse

Saint Lucy of Syracuse: The light of faith and charity

Saint Lucy of Syracuse is an iconic figure of 3rd century Christianity, known for her courage, piety and devotion to God. Born in Syracuse, Sicily, Lucie lived a life marked by deep faith and a burning desire to help others. His story transports us to a tumultuous time when Christians were persecuted for their beliefs.

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Relic of Saint Lucy on Relics.es

 

Lucie was born into a noble and Christian family. She lost her father at a young age, but her mother, Eutychia, taught her the ways of the Lord and encouraged her to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Lucy takes to heart the words of Jesus: “Love your neighbor as yourself” and strives to put them into practice.

Young Lucy is deeply touched by the story of Saint Agatha of Catania, a Christian martyr who suffered terrible torture for her faith. Inspired by this example of dedication and courage, Lucie took a vow of chastity and decided to devote her life to serving the poor and sick in her community.

Lucy's fame grew rapidly, and her reputation for beneficence and charity attracted the attention of the Roman authorities who, at the time, were persecuting Christians. The consul Pascasius, dazzled by her beauty and determined to force her to marry, summons Lucy before him. But Lucie, determined not to deny her faith, categorically refuses.

Lucie was then ordered to renounce her Christian faith. Faced with the young virgin's refusal, the consul declared to her:

« You will change your language when you are tortured.
— My language will not change, replied Lucy, the Lord himself has made this recommendation to the servants of God: “When you are before kings and judges, do not worry about what you should say; it is not you who will speak, but the Holy Spirit which is in you."
— The Holy Spirit is therefore in you ?
— Yes, replied Lucy, those who live in piety and chastity are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
— Well, then exclaimed Pascasius, I will take you to a place of debauchery, so that your virginity is lost, the Holy Spirit no longer finds asylum in his own temple and abandons you…
— If you make me rape, my chastity will only be doubly rewarded in heaven. »

Angered by this courage, Pascasius gives the order to drag Lucie into a brothel in order to have her raped by debauchees. But the Holy Spirit intervenes, and makes Lucy's body perfectly immobile and untransportable. Even with a team of a thousand men and a thousand pairs of oxen, it cannot be moved. Seized with fury, Pascasius then had boiling pitch, resin and oil poured over her, then had her surrounded by a pyre which was set on fire. But the flames do nothing to her and she continues to sing the praises of the Christ. So a sword is thrust into her throat, but she doesn't die right away. A priest comes to bring him communion, only after which she gives up the ghost.

 

Relic of Saint Lucy on Relics.es

 

Other sources specify that her eyes were gouged out, or that, in response to her fiancé who threatened to denounce her, she tore them out herself and sent them to him in a box. Following which, the Virgin would have come to bring him even more beautiful ones. This is the reason why it is frequently invoked to cure eye diseases, and represented by painters carrying its eyes on a plate or in a cup. Others, however, use it against sore throats.

 

 

Eventually, Lucie succumbs to her injuries and joins the celestial kingdom, but her martyrdom does not go unnoticed. The Christians of Syracuse considered her an exemplary saint and martyr, and her reputation quickly spread throughout the Christian world.

Today, Saint Lucy is revered as one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church. His feast day is celebrated on December 13, the day of his martyrdom.

The relics of Saint Lucy

After the martyrdom of Saint Lucy in the 3rd century, her remains were interred in the Syracuse cemetery. Over time, the fame of his holiness spread, and many pilgrims came to visit his tomb to ask for his intercession and benefit from his powerful protection.

 

A relic of Saint Lucia in the Cathedral of Syracuse in Sicily

 

 

However, over the years, different circumstances have led to the dispersion of relics of Saint Lucia in various places. One of the reasons for this dispersion was the fear of the desecration of its remains by barbarian invaders.

Parts of Saint Lucy's relics were transferred to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), where they were placed in the famous Boucoleon Church. However, in 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, the relics were stolen by the Crusaders and taken to Venice. They were then placed in the magnificent Basilica of Sainte-Marie-des-Anges-et-des-Martyrs.

In the 15th century, some of the relics were brought back to Syracuse by the order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Knights of Malta. These relics were placed in the Cathedral of Syracuse, where they are still venerated today.

Unfortunately, over the centuries, some relics have been lost or destroyed due to historical events and conflicts. Nevertheless, the presence of the relics of Saint Lucy continues to inspire the devotion and admiration of the faithful.

The veneration of the relics of Saint Lucy is a practice deeply rooted in Catholic tradition. Pilgrims flock to the places where the relics are kept to pay homage to the saint and implore her intercession in their prayers. The relics are displayed during special celebrations and pilgrimages, providing the faithful with the opportunity to become closer to the spiritual presence of Saint Lucy.

Saint Lucy's most precious relic is her skull, which is kept in an ornate reliquary at Syracuse Cathedral. This reliquary is displayed during the annual festivities in honor of Saint Lucy, which take place on December 13, her feast day. The faithful gather en masse to venerate the skull and offer their prayers to the saint.

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