Today is the Feast of Saint Lucy (13 Dec)

Santa Lucia (St. Lucy)

Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the blind and eye disorders and her feast day used to coincide with the Winter Solstice which is the day often celebrated as a festival of light in many places.

Many stories and legends abound about Saint Lucy, but sadly most have not been to be true. We know that she lived in Syracuse in Sicily in 304. From what has been learned, she was a young girl and a Christian, putting her in harm’s way since Christianity in the fourth century was not tolerated. Her mother had hoped to marry her off to a pagan, but Lucy prayed for guidance and was told her mother’s illness would be cured by faith. She convinced her mother of this, and her mother gave the dowry money away and committed herself to God. The suitor was not happy with this outcome and denounced Lucy as a Christian. She was executed by Roman soldiers.

After her death, her martyrdom spread as an example for Christian virtue of not giving in to the world. Stories and legends would grow around her and by the sixth century was venerated as saint. Areas have been for her, and many girls were named for her. She really did exist and was executed for putting her faith over her vow of virginity to Jesus. Her feast day is celebrated in Italy and Scandinavia. Her feast day is celebrated in Scandinavian countries as a festival of light during the long winter night. A young girl in a white dress and red sash carries palms and wears a wreath of candles on head. Special rolls or cookies are made for the day and often handed out to the elderly. It is also celebrated in parts of Italy particularly in Sicily and in many places of the world today. There are many churches dedicated to her and the island of Santa Lucia in the Caribbean is named for her.

[Updated from 2022 with additional source information and new video]


“Saint Lucy | History, Patron Saint, Eyes, and Feast Day.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 17 Oct. 2023,

Fenton, Francesca Pollio. “Why Sweden Honors St. Lucy, a Beloved Italian Saint.” Catholic News Agency, 13 Dec. 2023,

Franciscan Media. “Saint Lucy | Franciscan Media.” Franciscan Media, 12 Dec. 2022,

Online, Catholic. “St. Lucy – Saints and Angels – Catholic Online.” Catholic Online,