Tuesday, December 13, 2011

St. Lucy - Virgin and Martyr

The Martyrdom of St. Lucy about the year 304
Today, December 13, is the Feast Day of St. Lucy, who lived from 283 to 304, making her just 21 years old when she was martyred.   She is one of several female saints who are mentioned in the Canon of the Tridentine Mass.  The Novus Ordo Mass does not mention any saints, male or female.  I assume this is because we don't want to offend the Protestants, since they don't believe in praying to the saints. 

I'm attaching the reading from the Traditional Roman Breviary about St. Lucy.  As you will see, the Traditional Breviary has no qualms about graphically describing the martyrdom of St. Lucy. 

Lucy was a maiden of Syracuse, the daughter of a noble Christian family.  Her mother Eutychia, being afflicted with an issue of blood, went with her to Catania, to pray before the body of the blessed Agatha.  Lucy, by her earnest prayers at the grave, ordained her mother's cure, through the intercession of Agatha, and then immediately begged her to give to Christ's poor the whole dowry which had been set apart for herself.  As soon, therefore, as they returned to Syracuse, they sold the property, and distributed the money among the poor.

When this came to the ears of one to whom her parents had betrothed her against her will, he accused Lucy before Paschasius the Prefect of being a Christian.  The Prefect could not move her to commit idolatry, either by his entreaties or by his threats ; nay, the more he strove to persuade her, so much the bolder did she become in her confession.  Then, seeing that he could prevail nothing, Words, saith he, will cease when we come to blows.  To whom the virgin answered : God's servants will never want words, for the Lord Christ hath said : When ye shall stand before kings and governors, take no thought how or what ye shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak, for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost which speaketh in you.

Then Paschasius asked her, saying, Is the Holy Ghost in thee?  Whereto she answered, They that live in chastity and piety are the temples of the Holy Ghost.  Then, said he, I will send thee to be prostituted in a brothel, and get the Holy Ghost out of thee.  To whom she made reply, Thou canst not prostitute my will.  If thou cause this poor body to be violated, the crown of my soul's purity will be brighter through suffering.  Then he bade them take her to the place of shame but by the power of God it became impossible to move her.  Whereupon, being inflamed with anger, he had pitch, resin, and boiling oil poured upon her, and then set on fire.  But the fire did not take hold upon her.  Therefore he practised many other cruelties upon her, and at last thrust a sword through her neck.  When Lucy had received this wound, she began to speak of the peace of the Church, which it should enjoy after the death of Diocletian and Maximian, and presently returned her soul into the hands of God.  She testified on the thirteenth day of December.  Her body was buried at Syracuse, but afterwards taken to Constantinople, and lastly to Venice.

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