Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr: A Patron and Heavenly Friend

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This essay is dedicated to Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, in thanksgiving for her intercession on my behalf. I have been experiencing eye irritation on and off since the end of last October, with no real relief. I decided to start a novena to Saint Lucy, whose intercession with Divine Providence is so powerful for the healing of the eyes. She is the patron saint of the eyes and has been venerated in my family and my wife’s family for generations.

What inspired me to begin the novena before the healing was the story of the blind man healed by Jesus. The healing was not immediate; it came incrementally. Jesus healed this man in stages for a reason. I believe it was to gradually expand his experience of God’s mercy and to alert him to the dangers of sin. Jesus opened his bodily eyes and the eyes of his heart at the same time. I believe the healing of my eyes is coming incrementally as well.

Scripture Encourages Intercessors

This celebration of my relationship with a great saint is a good opportunity to clarify what devotion to the saints means for us as Catholics. To the uninitiated or non-Catholics, saints are viewed as a superstitious carry-over from pagan times, kind of like little gods we worship in addition to Jesus.

Let me clear things up for anyone who feels like that. Catholics know that God is responsible for all the healing. All our prayers are directed to and answered by God and we worship nobody but God. Why the need for saints and angels? Because God provided us with these intercessors. Only He really knows why. Their mediation is not instead of Christ’s; He is the mediator for all humanity with the Father. Nonetheless, in His generosity, He allows human beings to take part, in our own small way, in His role of mediation. All creaturely intercession is subordinate to His and draws its power from His; this is why our prayers conclude with “Through Christ our Lord.”

Scripture advises us to invoke intercessors. James 5:14 states, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” For non-Catholic Christians, this presents a conundrum. The sick are calling upon others, specifically the priests of Jesus, to pray for them. James doesn’t say, as many Protestants say, “All you have to do is pray to Jesus.” No, rather, James, who walked with the Lord, who was mentored by Him for three years and was consecrated as a priest by Him at the Last Supper, advises the faithful to call upon intercessors to help us pray to the Lord.

Likewise, we Catholics call upon the angels and saints to pray for us to God. Our God is a God of the living, not the dead, and all who who die in Christ are alive in Christ. We certainly do not worship the saints; rather, we honor them as our models, who have already reached perfect union with God in Heaven; we cherish them as our spiritual older brothers and sisters; and we rely on their prayers for us.

I worked with an older Jewish woman years ago. She was confirmed in her faith and loved God as she knew Him in her Jewish tradition. She asked me to pray for her, and she said that although she loved her faith and would never convert, she admired the Catholics because we have so many saints to pray for us. She, a non-Christian, actually got it. Angels and saints are our friends, our intercessors and our confidants.

The Example of Saint Lucy

I have many saint friends, and I love them all. If I wrote just three lines on each one, this would be a very long essay. We do well to take time to focus on the particular virtues of one or another, so I reflect now on Saint Lucy, who has always been a hero to me.

Living in Sicily in the early fourth century, in an immoral, pagan society not unlike our own, she chose not only purity but permanent virginity for the Lord she loved. If such a choice is misunderstood and maligned in our world, it was all but unheard-of in hers. In the end, her faith and love required the sacrifice of her life; but she was ready, for she had already given him everything. This young girl gave up her entire life, the promise of riches and ease, for the love of Christ. She was immovable to sin and loved Jesus in a way that only martyrs can fully comprehend.

St. Lucy should be a model for us of Christian virtue and heroism, reminding us of the inestimable treasure we have in our faith in Christ. Many thousands of Christians all over the world are dying for that faith today. We may not know all their names, but we know their predecessors in Christian virtue and fortitude, such as the great St. Lucy, whose very name means light. She is, in fact, a beacon of light to all of us. It is said that upon her death, her eyes, which had been gouged out, were miraculously restored. God restores everything that is lost for love of Him. Jesus promised that he who loses his life for His sake will find it and preserve it unto life everlasting.

Meditate On The Lives of Saints

We can benefit from meditating on this young Sicilian girl who vowed her virginity, her purity and her very life to Jesus and received the crown of martyrdom. Let us stir within ourselves a devotion to her and take her as a powerful friend and intercessor with the Lord. Also, if you haven’t yet, find a saint with whom you especially “connect” to be your particular model and friend. We must keep in mind also that sometimes our prayers, no matter whom we ask to pray for us, may not be answered the way we want. As the song says, “We may not always get what we want but we will get what we need.”

Thank you, Saint Lucy. Please pray for us and enlighten the eyes of our hearts to the joys of Christ. Saint Lucy, holy virgin and martyr, hero of Christians, spouse of Jesus, powerful intercessor before the Throne of Divine Majesty, pray for us. Amen.

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9 thoughts on “Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr: A Patron and Heavenly Friend”

  1. Actually the most reliable statements were made by Jesus, his closest followers, and Paul. The early church immediately came under attack both physically and spiritually.

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    On Monday, February 17, 2020, 12:37 PM, MONTI wrote:

    I would say yes to all of them, including me (if I am speaking the Gospel and proclaiming the Good News). As Jesus said, I Am the Good Shepherd , those who know me hear my voice and follow me. We are anointed to preach the Good News to every creature. So a big yes to everyone you mentioned:

    Mark 16:15 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

    That means you too brother. Pax

  2. Edward:

    One last question for you.
    Whose words should we follow? Jesus, the words of those who walked with Him, Paul, the church leaders that came afterwards, the Church-ordained saints, the popes, the bishops, the priests, you?

    Robert

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    On Monday, February 17, 2020, 10:13 AM, you wrote:

    Thanks Robert – I am not sure I understand the point you are trying to argue –The point of my essay is that we have heavenly intercessors be they canonized saints, angels, souls in purgatory or not canonized saints in heaven. If you disagree that’s fine with me – everyone is free to believe or not. I had no issues with what you quoted from Scripture etc… The “questions” you pose would require very long answers. If you are asking my opinion on the Two witnesses or to decipher what Jesus said to His disciples in light of what we know now as it relates to angels and saints – I think each situation has a different contextual meaning so in effect one may not necessarily relate to the other. I no longer engage in theological wrestling matches. I enjoy comments and I accept dissention and critical analysis of the essays as cheerfully as I accept compliments – quite honestly I enjoy the criticisms more because it makes me think about what I am writing and where I need improvement. My essays are Catholicism light because in general I am trying to create an easy read for someone who may be in a circumstance where they need to connect with God on a very base level.

    When you say the Resurrection clearly does not occur until the coming of the Lord – that’s fine – I look at it differently – God is outside of time – all things are present to Him at once – hence the Immaculate Conception.

    I did not ignore any of what you pointed out – Jesus speaking to Nicodemus or to the Apostles telling them that He is the Way the Truth and the Light – He is the only way to eternal life – exactly – It is all about Jesus – angels and saints, intercessors do not negate that – and that’s where protestants miss the mark – similarly with the Holy Eucharist – they miss the mark – they do not understand what they are reading. Similarly with the Blessed Mother, they miss the Mark. There is only one Church – Jesus said so and that One Church recorded Scripture (St. Jerome arranged the Canon) and that One Church was given power to loose or bind through the priests of Jesus, and that one Church is undefeatable (the gates of hell will never prevail) and if that One Church recommends calling upon the angels and saints as intercessors – I think its wise to avail ourselves of every possible spiritual help. Remember the all things that Jesus said and did could NOT be recorded, therefore, oral tradition is also part and parcel of our faith. I can only imagine what was not written down but it would probably blow our minds. In any event – thanks again -peace.

  3. To Edward:
    I’m pretty sure that those were questions.
    How did you get that I was suggesting that death is the end of eternal life?
    My point is our hope is the Resurrection which clearly does not occur until the coming of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:20-26).
    You also chose to ignore what Jesus told his disciples in John 14, as well as what he said to Nicodemus in John 3.

    1. Interestingly you did not specifically respond to my questions.
      But I did want to point out that the Bible reveals that Enoch and Elijah did not suffer an earthly death, while Jesus, Mary, and Church-declared saints did. Could they be the two witnesses, described in Revelation 11, who will testify against the coming antichrist?

  4. After reading your article, a few questions come to mind.
    Isn’t the sole scripture passage that you quote instructing the living elders of the church to pray for the sick?
    Doesn’t Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:1-5 that the living offer prayers and intercession to God and Jesus is the one mediator between God and men?
    Doesn’t Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 tell us that the dead “no longer know anything”?
    Or Job 14: 10-12, which tells us “so men lie down and rise not again. Till the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep”?
    How about John 3 when Jesus tells Nicodemus that no one has gone to heaven?

    1. Praise God Robert, yes Scripture does, but God is not schizophrenic. He sends Job the Arch Angel Raphael, He told Naman through the prophet to bathe in the Jordan 7 times and Naman was healed, he asked the crowd if they had any food and multiplied their loaves and fishes. He allowed water to be used to baptise and He let John baptism Him. So for anyone who thinks God wants us to ignore the people He sends to help us, bless us, forgive us and heal us we are really refusing God’s many Grace’s. And most importantly, during the Transfiguration, Jesus met with Moses and Elijah, because those who die in Christ are not dead. God is the God of the living not the dead. In baptism we die in Christ so that we can share in His Ressurrection.

    2. Hi Robert, I did not answer your questions because they really were not questions they were Scripture cites. I think the prayer the priest recites at Mass answers it all, in baptism we die with Christ so that will share in His Resurrection. I’m not sure about the point you are trying to make but if you think physical death is the end of eternal life also, well then I disagree. As we conclude in the Creed, I believe in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. Amen.

    3. Oh and I forgot the following: Eucharistic Prayer III May he make of us an eternal offering to you, so that we may obtain an inheritance with your elect, especially with the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, her Spouse, with your blessed Apostles and glorious Martyrs (with Saint N.: the Saint of the day or Patron Saint) and with all the Saints, on whose constant intercession in your presence we rely for unfailing help.

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