Sunday, December 13, 2015

Saint Lucia of Syracuse

St. Lucia (or Loukia, Lucy) of Syracuse (Feast Day - December 13)

Verses

As a Virgin, Lucia received one crown,
As a Martyr by the sword, she received another.

Lucia was from Syracuse, a city on the island of Sicily, and lived in the mid-third century. When she was betrothed to a certain pagan, she accompanied her mother, Eutychia, to Catania, also in Sicily, in order to venerate the relics of Saint Agatha (Feb. 5), for she suffered from a flow of blood. Lucia supplicated the Virgin-Martyr Agatha to heal her mother's sickness, and after arduous prayer she fell asleep. In her sleep she saw Saint Agatha in a vision, who promised to restore her mother to health, but also foretold that in the future Lucia would be a martyr for Christ.

Upon waking, Lucia's mother was restored to health, then the holy maiden dispersed her wealth to the poor, eager to go and confess Christ.

Having spurned her suitor as well, he slandered her to the Prefect Paschasius. Lucia was arrested and stood before the tyrant, and confessed Christ with courage. In return, Paschasius sentenced her to a brothel where she could be dishonored. Nevertheless, by divine intervention, Lucia's purity remained intact and she was unsullied, although one soldier after another tried to dishonor her, all attempts having failed, for they were unable to move her.

It was then contrived to light a fire where Lucia stood in order to move her. Still she did not move, and remained unconsumed by the fire. When the pagans lost hope, they decided to strike off her head at that spot. Thus the holy Virgin-Martyr received the crown of martyrdom.


Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
Adorned with the radiant robe of virginity, thou wast betrothed to Christ the Lifegiver,/ and didst disdain all mortal love. Therefore thou didst bring to the Lord as a bridal gift the streams of thy martyr's blood. Intercede with Him for us all, O Virgin Martyr Lucia.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
We honour thee, pure Virgin and trophy-bearer, and praise thine illustrious contest. For thou didst desire only the beauty of Christ and didst disdain all things corruptible. O Lucia, when thou wast beheaded thou didst receive incorruptible glory.

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