At the dawn of the 4th century, practicing Christianity in the Roman-ruled city of Siracusa was illegal. Already though, inspired by nearby Catania’s Patron Saint, Sant’Agata, who lived just a few decades before (from 231 AD – 251 AD), the young and beautiful Lucia devoted herself to Christianity. In fact, she was known to enter the dark catacombs of the city to feed hungry, early Christians–lighting her way through the tunnels with a torch. Lucia was so dedicated to Christ that she planned to give her dowry to the poor, yet her widowed and sick mother had already arranged for Lucia to be married to a wealthy pagan. When the young man heard of Lucia’s wish to distribute her dowry in the name of Christianity, in retaliation, he contacted authorities, who sentenced Lucia to work in a brothel.
Like Sant’Agata of Catania before her, she refused to participate in the activities of the brothel. This of course, angered the madame, and the authorities were called to further punish Lucia. Somewhere in this mayhem, the beautiful maiden’s eyes were either gouged out by the Roman soldiers or she did it herself to make herself unattractive to the pagan to whom she was promised in marriage and/or the clients at the brothel. Meanwhile, when the Romans showed up … (to be continued)
Please join us in New York City this Sun., Dec. 10 at 2PM at Cacio e Vino restaurant to celebrate the Feast of Santa Lucia. Your reservation includes a four-course traditional Sicilian menu with wine, tax, and gratuities included, a short concert by music duo Villa Palagonia, a presentation about the cult of Santa Lucia by Experience Sicily, and a raffle of various prizes. Reserve your spot at our table at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrate-la-festa-di-santa-lucia-saint-lucy-tickets-40074891078