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Saint Lucia - Siracusa PDF Print E-mail


Saint Lucia (283–304) was a wealthy young Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is 13 December; with a name derived from lux, lucis "light", she is the patron saint of those who are blind. Saint Lucia is one of the very few saints celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church among the Scandinavian peoples, who take part in Saint Lucia's Day celebrations that retain many elements of Germanic paganism.

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Saint Lucia is one of seven women, aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. Hagiography tells us that Lucia was a Christian during the Diocletian persecution. She consecrated her virginity to God, refused to marry a pagan, and had her dowry distributed to the poor. Her would-be husband denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse, Sicily. Miraculously unable to move her or burn her, the guards took out her eyes with a fork. In another version, Lucia's would-be husband admired her eyes, so she tore them out and gave them to him, saying, "Now let me live to God".

The oldest record of her story comes from the fifth-century accounts of saints' lives. By the 6th century, her story was widespread, so that she appears in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory I. At the opening of the 8th century Aldhelm included a brief account of her life among the virgins praised in De laude virginitatis, and in the following century the Venerable Bede included her in his Martyrology. In medieval accounts, Saint Lucia's eyes are gouged out prior to her execution. In art, her eyes sometimes appear on a tray that she is holding.

Until 1861 relics of Saint Lucia were venerated in a church dedicated to her in Venice; after its demolition, they were transferred to the church of San Geremia.

Syracuse is the hometown of the Holy Martyr. Here is venerated a silver statue depicting Saint Lucia, 1.54 meters tall, made in Palermo by the goldsmith Pietro Rizzo; the pedestal supported by four massive silver griffins is the work of the master Nibilio Cagini.

The statue is carried on the shoulders of 48 devotees which wear a distinctive green cap. The day of celebration of the Saint, December 13, starts the procession of the simulacrum that from the cathedral will arrive to the church of Saint Lucia at the sepulcher. The procession crosses the main streets of the city and all the devotees constantly repeat: "sarausana jè, viva Santa Lucia" which means "She is from Siracusa, Saint Lucia hurray". Women devotees, wear a green dress and hold large candles as a sign of devotion.

As soon as the simulacrum comes to the basilica of Saint Lucia to the sepulcher, a Holy Mass is celebrated here and the simulacrim remains exposed until December 20; on this day there is again a procession that bring backthe simulacrum to the cathedral. On the way back, the statue reaches the sanctuary of Our Lady of the tears and the city hospital. Once the statue is returned to the cathedral, in the tiny harbor of Siracusa, there will be a magnificent fireworks show that closes the festivities.

Some parts of this article are from Wikipedia


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