Saints of Advent - Saint Lucy

Saint LucyFeast day: December 13
Patron saint: Sight, those who are blind, ophthalmologists, electricians
Meaning of name: Light

Lucy was born into a wealthy family and from an early age wanted to devote her life to God as a virgin. Her father died while she was still young, however, and her mother desired that Lucy marry. Lucy’s mother had a change of heart, though, after visiting the relics of St. Agatha and being cured of a hemorrhage. Following this episode, she allowed Lucy to distribute the family’s money among the poor. This act angered the man Lucy was supposed to marry, and he sent her before the Roman governor of Sicily. The governor tried to sentence Lucy to prostitution, but when the time came to take her away, God’s strength filled her, and the guards found her too heavy to move. Before her death, Lucy predicted the punishment of the man she was supposed to marry. She also predicted the end of the persecution of Christians, as well as the end of the ruthless emperor Diocletian’s rule.

Why she is a saint

Before her fiancée denounced her to the government, Lucy devoted her life to service of the poor, and gave away most of her family’s fortune. Later, despite being tortured under Diocletian, Lucy never denied or wavered in her faith in God. She endured persecution bravely and willingly suffered for Christ.

How she died

After her resistance to prostitution, the Roman governor sentenced her to death by burning at the stake. However, much to the dismay of the Roman officials, God saved Lucy from this fate. Again the governor sentenced her to die, this time by the sword. This attempt to execute Lucy succeeded, and she became a martyr of the Church.


Showing how important purity was to Lucy, she once said, “Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit.”

Feast Day Traditions

The Feast of St. Lucia is most especially celebrated in Italy and Sweden, where a festival of lights is held, since her name means light. Traditionally on St. Lucy’s feast day, the oldest daughter of the family wears a white gown, a red sash, and a green wreath, sometimes with candles on her head as a crown. The white gown is meant to signify purity, the red sash represents the saint's martyrdom, and the wreath on her head signifies that God’s love is never-ending.