Advent: December 13th
That the famous Sicilian martyr really lived may be deduced from the
great popular veneration accorded her since most ancient times. The
Acts detailing her sufferings, however, merit little credence.
According to these, she made a pilgrimage to Catonia with her
mother, who suffered from hemorrhage to venerate the body of St.
Agatha. After praying devoutly at the tomb, Agatha appeared to her
in a dream and consoled her: "O virgin Lucy, why do you ask of me
what you yourself can procure for your mother? For your faith, too,
has come to her aid, and therefore she has been cured. By your
virginity, you have, indeed, prepared for God a lovely dwelling."
And her mother actually was healed.
Immediately, Lucy asked permission to remain a virgin and to
distribute her future dowry among Christ's poor. Child and mother
returned to their native city of Syracuse, and Lucy proceeded to
distribute the full proceeds from the sale of her property among the
poor. When a young man, to whom Lucy's parents had promised the
virgin's hand against her will, had heard of the development, he
reported her to the city prefect as a Christian. "Your words will be
silenced," the prefect said to her, "when the storm of blows falls
upon you!" The virgin: "To God's servants the right words will not
be wanting, for the Holy Spirit speaks in us." "Yes," she continued,
"all who live piously and chastely are temples of the Holy Spirit."
"Then," he replied, "I shall order you put with prostitutes and the
Holy Spirit will depart from you." Lucy: "If I am dishonored against
my will, my chastity will secure for me a double crown of victory."
Aflame with anger, the judge imposed the threatened order. But God
made the virgin solidly firm in her place, and no force could move
her. "With such might did the Holy Spirit hold her firm that the
virgin of Christ remained immovable." Thereupon they poured heated
pitch and resin over her: "I have begged my Lord Jesus Christ that
this fire have no power over me. And in testimony of Him I have
asked a postponement of my death." When she had endured all this
without the least injury, they pierced her throat with a sword. Thus
she victoriously ended her martyrdom.
—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.