Sunday, 18 December 2016
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Saint Lucy was born into a rich noble Roman family. At a very young age she lost her father who was a Christian. Lucy was left behind with a huge dowry. Lucy’s mother wanted Lucy to marry a rich pagan man.
Being a virtuous young woman, Lucy did not want to marry a pagan man. Lucy asked her mother to distribute the dowry among the poor. The mother disagreed with that idea.
As a young teenager, Lucy had already consecrated her virginity and life to God. She was zealously working in the service of God helping the poor.
In addition she helped her fellow Catholics hiding in the dark underground catacombs who were at risk of suffering persecution. She would wear a wreath of candles on her head to find her way in the dark, as her hands were full of food and drink for the people.
St Lucy was also well known for her beautiful eyes. It was said that her eyes radiated her love for Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lucy’s mother became very ill from a bleeding disorder. She had tried many treatments, but failed. Lucy then asked her mother to accompany her to Saint Agatha’s shrine where they both prayed all night. Due to exhaustion, they both fell asleep near Saint Agatha’s tomb.
Saint Agatha had appeared to Lucy in a dream and gave her the good news that her mother was healed. Saint Agatha further informed Lucy that she will be the glory of Syracuse – the city where Saint Lucy lived.
Lucy’s mother convinced with her miracle cure, then complied with Lucy’s request to distribute their wealth among the poor.
The pagan man who proposed to Lucy was furious when he heard the news. He decided to destroy Lucy’s life denouncing her as a Christian to the Governor of Syracuse, Sicily.
That was a time where many Christians were persecuted for their faith. The governor sent his guards to forcibly take Lucy to a brothel house and then insult her in public.
When the soldiers came to take her, Lucy was filled with the Holy Spirit that she could not be moved. They claimed that she was heavier than a mountain. When the Governor questioned her as to how she could stay strong, she claimed that it was the power of Jesus her Lord and God.
Finally they tortured Lucy to death and she died as a martyr.
There are two legendary stories about Saint Lucy’s eyes. As Lucy had beautiful eyes, the pagan man who was proposed to marry Lucy, wanted Lucy’s eyes.
One story tells us that Lucy gifted her eyes to the pagan man, and asked him to leave her alone.
The second story tells us that during the torture, Lucy’s eyes were taken out and that God had restored her eyes back.
Either way, Lucy’s eyes were taken out and God had restored her eyes. That was the reason she became the patron saint for people who are blind and with eye problems.
The most important aspect of her story was that Lucy was a brave young woman who was zealous to give her life to God. She was ready to give her eyes and even her life, but stood strong in her faith at a time where Christians were widely persecuted for their faith.
This is why Saint Lucy is venerated as a virgin and martyr.
Lucy sets a good example to people today who are persecuted for their faith. Her message would be to stand strong in your faith, no matter how hard the situation may be.
St Lucy is also the patron saint of Syracuse. Over the centuries many people have been healed by God through the intercession of St Lucy.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
St Edmund Campion, S.J., (24 January 1540 – 1 December 1581) was an English Roman Catholic Jesuit priest and martyr. While conducting an underground ministry in officially Anglican England, Edmund Campion was arrested by priest hunters. Convicted of high treason, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His feast is celebrated on December 1st.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
St Andrew the Apostle (early 1st century – mid to late 1st century AD), called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos (Πρωτόκλητος) or the first-called, one of the Twelve, was the brother of Saint Peter.
Advent begins on the nearest Sunday to St Andrew's Day, and is the period of preparation for the celebration of our welcoming of the Light into the World. Its name comes from the Latin "adventus."