13 December 2007

The Martyrdom of St. Lucy

The Martyrdom of St. Lucy. c. 15th century. Painter unknown. Rijksmuseum, Netherlands

St. Lucy, born in 283, visited the tomb of St. Agatha to request healing for her mother; in a vision, St. Agatha asked, "Why have you come to request a grace from me that you could have obtained by your faith alone? Just as I have been the wonder of Catania, so you will be the wonder of Syracuse." Her mother was healed, and Lucy obtained from St. Agatha the grace to keep her virginity, which she consecrated to God. She afterwards gave all her goods to the poor. Her betrothed, angered by this generosity, denounced her to the authorities as a Christian, and she was consigned to prostitution as punishment. But when the guards went to drag her to the place of shame, she remained immovable, despite their use of ropes and horses. The emperor asked what evil she conjured to overcome a force of hundreds, and she replied, "It is not evil, but the power of God. You may bring a hundred thousand men, and they can never prevail against God." They then poured oil over her and attempted to light her on fire, but she remained unhurt. Her death only came about by a stroke of the sword.

It is said that in 1513, Louis XII of France was presented with the head of the saint, which was deposited in the cathedral church of Bourges.

Today also happens to be my first child's birthday.

Bonne Anniversaire à ma chère fille, Marie!