Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 13th December 2022: Lucy of Syracuse, Martyr (304 CE)

Martyr 2 Corinthians 4 Christ Light

Reading : Verses from 2 Corinthians, Chapter 4

Saint Lucia

For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ....

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.... we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Saint Lucy (or Lucia), a native of Syracuse in Sicily during the Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. Tradition has it that Lucy, as a young Christian, gave away her goods to the poor and was betrayed to the authorities by one of her angry fiancé, who felt that they should have become his property. She was put to death for her faith on this day in the year 304. Her name in Latin means 'Light' and as her feast day falls in December, she became associated with the one true Light who was coming as the redeemer into the world, the Light that would lighten the nations, the Light that would banish darkness and let the eyes of all behold Truth incarnate.*

References to Saint Lucy are found in early Roman prayer books, in an inscription dating from 400 CE and two churches were dedicated to her before the 8th century in Britain, when the land was largely pagan. Scandinavian countries, and in particular Sweden, remember her in a variety of ceremonies, often marking the beginning of the Christmas celebrations, with young girls dressing in white robes and wearing crowns made from evergreen leaves studded with candles. The festival is meant to bring hope and light as people look forward to the celebration of the coming of Christ the Light of the world.

* from 'Exciting Holiness, Collects and Readings for the Festivals of the Church of England'


Lord Jesus Christ,
as we remember the sacrifice
that Lucy made for her faith,
may we also remember all those
called to make the ultimate sacrifice.
May we look forward with hope this Advent
to our Christmas celebrations
when we remember that You came
as a Light into a dark world
to offer us salvation.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to use this Collect for Lucy:


God our Redeemer, who gave light to the world that was in darkness by the healing power of the Saviour’s cross: shed that light on us, we pray, that with your martyr Lucy we may, by the purity of our lives, reflect the light of Christ and, by the merits of his passion, come to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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