Lucy, virgin and martyr – December 13th
St Lucy (d. 304, Syracuse, Sicily) (Relics: Syracuse, Sicily; Venice, Italy)
Several different traditions account for the translation of St Lucy’s remains. The first claims that the Duke of Spoleto, Faroald II, transferred her remains to a small city in central Italy. From here they were taken to Metz, France by Otto I in 972 AD. This tradition then seems to end here as the whereabouts of these relics are unknown today. A separate tradition claims that the Byzantine General, Giorgio Maniace, transferred the relics in 1038 AD from Syracuse to Constantinople. With the fall of Constantinople in 1204 these relics were then transferred to Venice, Italy. They remained here throughout the following centuries occasionally being transferred to different churches within the city. In 1860 they were brought to their present location within the parish church of San Geremia. Since this final transfer, however, her remains have been desecrated on two separate occasions. The most recent occurred in November of 1981 when two individuals stole the body of St Lucy from this church. Gratefully one month later her body was returned to this church on her feast day.
First Class Relics
San Geremia (Saint Jeremiah)
Sestiere Cannaregio 290
30131 Venice, Italy
*The body of St Lucy is enshrined in this church on the side opposite the church entrance. Her remains rest within a beautiful glass-sided urn set within a golden casket.
Duomo di Siracusa (Cathedral of Syracuse)
Piazza Duomo 5
96100 Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
*In 1988 Syracuse received the left humerus bone of St Lucy from the Patriarch of Venice, Marco Cè. This relic now rests within a silver reliquary placed within the second altar on the right side of the nave of this church. A separate reliquary exposed only on special feasts contains two additional fragments from the left arm of St Lucy.
*Also said to be preserved at this church are the robe, the veil, and the little shoes of the saint.
*Finally, each year on December 13th and also on the first Sunday in May a statue of St Lucy is carried with much festivity through the streets of Syracuse. Within the chest of this statue, which was created by Pietro Rizzo in 1599, are three bone fragments from her ribs.
Basilica di Santa Lucia al Sepolcro
(Basilica of Saint Lucy at the Tomb)
Via Luigi Bignami 1
96100 Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
*This church marks the spot where St Lucy was martyred.
*Within the octagonal baptistery adjacent to this church is the grave where St Lucy was originally buried. Under the altar is a beautiful marble statue depicting the saint.
Churches of Honor in Rome
Santa Lucia del Gonfalone
(Saint Lucy of the Gonfalone)
Via dei Banchi Vecchi 12
*This church is located between Via Giulia and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It is dedicated to St Lucy.
*A large statue of St Lucy is within a chapel on the right side of the nave.
Santa Lucia in Selci (Saint Lucy in Selci)
Via in Selci 82
*This church is near the Cavour metro stop. It is dedicated to St Lucy. It is not open often.