St. Lucia, the patron saint of writers

In Catholic imagination, Making saints, Strange religious customs, Writing as Vocation on December 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Today is the feast of St. Lucia (also known as St. Lucy), the patron of writers. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how she ever came to be our patron, but I certainly like her story!

She was a beautiful Sicilian girl, engaged against her will–a common occurrence in former days–to a man she did not love or even care for. She chose, instead, to dedicate her life to God. But the fiance would have nothing of it. Refusing to be spurned by this girl without getting even, he outed Lucia as a Christian to the local governor. This was during the persecutions of Christians during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, ca. 303. Facing certain torture, to force her to marry, Lucia instead gouges out her beautiful eyes with her own hands. Her iconography always shows her carrying her eyes in a goblet so she can give them to that suitor who seemed to want her so badly. You go, girl!

She is the patron saint of the blind–which makes pretty obvious sense–but again, I’m not quite sure how she became the saint of writers. But I’ll take her!

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