Novenas for December


Saint Lucy

285 – 304

Clarity and light are the primary attributes of Saint Lucy. Often her name is invoked as a protection against temptation, since she is thought to enhance judgment and aid in discernment. The name Lucy means “light” and light is the nature of grace. Just as light shines in a direct, straight line, Saint Lucy’s belief in God never wavered. Light is also immaculate, no matter how filthy the place it shines in. Her affiliation with light also extends to vision. Thus, Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the blind: we also call on her to help those with eye troubles.

Born in Siracusa, Sicily, into a noble family, Saint Lucy was secretly a Christian, having been impressed early on by the stories of Saint Agatha’s martyrdom in nearby Catania. Lucy’s mother suffered from long-term health problems, and Lucy took her to Saint Agatha’s tomb to be healed. When her mother’s health was instantly restored, she also became a Christian. Although her family had arranged for her to marry, Lucy begged to be allowed to break the engagement, as she had promised her virginity to the Lord. She wanted her dowry to be distributed to the poor and to live a life devoted to prayer and chastity. This enraged Lucy’s betrothed, and he denounced her to the local authorities as a Christian and an enemy of the emperor. This being the time of the persecutions of Diocletian, the punishment for Christian beliefs was torture, then death. Lucy refused to sacrifice to the Roman idols when commanded by the local officials, saying, “The sacrifice that is pleasing to God is to visit the poor and help them in their need.” Paschasius, the Roman consul, ordered her to be put in a house of prostitution. When the soldiers came to carry Lucy away, they could not move her. A thousand soldiers and a thousand oxen were brought in and still she could not be budged. Magicians and wizards chanting incantations had no effect. Paschasius, at wits’ end, ordered a fire to be built around Lucy and boiling oil to be poured on her head. Still unfazed, Lucy said, “Ihave prayed for this prolongation of my martyrdom in order to free believers from the fear of suffering and to give unbelievers time to insult me.” At this point, a friend of the consul’s plunged a dagger into her throat and ended her earthly life. A church was raised at the site of her death a few years later. Saint Lucy is one of the oldest and most adored saints in the world.

There are two different stories as to why Saint Lucy is always shown holding her eyes on a dish. One is that they were torn from her head     under torture and were then miraculously restored. The other is that a persistent suitor asked for her hand  in marriage, citing her beautiful eyes as the reason she won his heart. Lucy, intent on keeping her virginity, ripped out her own eyes and sent them to him. Here again they were miraculously restored the next day. Saint Lucy is   also always depicted with the palms of martyrdom. Her remains are partially uncorrupt and were moved to a church in Venice. Because she died from having her throat cut, she is also invoked for throat ailments and hemorrhages.

Feast Day: December 13

Patron of: Blindness

Invoked for: Clarity

Invoked against: Eye Troubles, Throat Ailments, Hemorrhages

Saint Lucy Novena


By your steadfast faith, O glorious Saint Lucy, you firmly declared to the ruler that no one could take from you the Holy Spirit, who dwelt in your heart as in his temple. Obtain for me from God that I may always live in a holy and salutary fear of losing his grace and that I may flee everything that might cause so grievous a loss.

(Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be.)

By the great love which your immaculate spouse had for you, O glorious Saint Lucy, when by an unheard of miracle he rendered you immovable in spite of the attempts of your enemies to drag you into a place of shame and sin, I ask you to obtain for me the grace  never to consent to the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to fight constantly against their assaults by the continuous mortification of all my senses.

(Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be.)

By the same ardent love you had for Jesus, O glorious Saint Lucy, after consecrating yourself to him by an irrevocable vow, you refused profitable offers of marriage. After distributing all your goods to aid the poor, you sacrificed your life by the blade that pierced your neck. Obtain for me the grace to be filled with holy charity, that I may be ready to renounce worldly goods and endure all evil rather than become, even in the least degree, unfaithful to Jesus.

(Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be.)

The purpose of this novena is to ward off temptation and to maintain clarity in confusing situations.

Say this novena nine times in a row for nine days in a row.

Excerpted from the book: “Novena: The Power of Prayer” by Barbara Calamari and Sandra DiPasqua.


Artwork: detail of altar piece by Francesco del Cossa (1473-1474)

 More on Saint Lucy

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Conception

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