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Dec 21, 2021 226 Shalom Tidings
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A Better Bridegroom

Lucy was born into a rich and noble Roman family in Syracuse, Sicily. When her mother arranged for her to marry a pagan man, Lucy protested that she belonged only to Christ. To help win her mother to her side, Lucy prayed at the tomb of St. Agatha (another Christian virgin) that her mother be cured of an illness she had endured for many years. Her mother was miraculously healed and agreed not to force Lucy to marry. But the pagan suitor rejected by Lucy was infuriated by the whispers that “Lucy had found a better Bridegroom than him” (her Lord, Jesus!). In his anger, he denounced Lucy to Pascasio, the governor, as a Christian.

Pascasio seized this opportunity to humiliate Lucy in public and thereby discredit the power of Christ and His Church. Aware of Lucy’s vow of chastity, he was attempted not only to kill Lucy’s body, but to destroy the beauty of her soul as well.

The governor’s guards attempted to bring Lucy to a house of prostitution, but God made Lucy’s body so heavy that the guards were unable to move her. Next, she was sentenced to be burned, but even with oil poured upon her, Lucy’s body would not burn. Furious, the governor shouted to Lucy, “How are you doing this?” Lucy simply responded that it was not by her power but by that of Jesus Christ. Pascasio then ordered Lucy’s beautiful eyes to be gouged out. Even after this torture, she stood before him refusing to deny Christ.

Lucy sensed that her time of witness and martyrdom was near. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Lucy prophesied to the crowd telling them the persecution would not last much longer and the emperor would lose his throne. In a panic to silence Lucy, Pascasio ordered a soldier to thrust a sword through her neck. She won her crown of virginity and martyrdom on December 13, 304.

When Lucy’s body was carried to the cemetery they discovered that her eyes had been miraculously restored. To mark this miracle, Lucy is often depicted holding a dish that bears her eyes. Within decades, Lucy’s name was added next to Agatha’s name in the Roman Canon. Saint Lucy’s body rests in the Basilica of St. Lucy in Syracuse, Sicily.

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