St. Lucy at Rome


Commemorated on July 6

St. Lucy, a native of the Italian district of Campania, dedicated herself to God and lived in an austere and chaste manner from the time of her youth.

While still quite young, she was taken captive and carried off into a foreign land by Governor Rexius. At first, he tried to make Lucy pay sacrifice to idols but she remained firm in her faith and was ready to accept torture for the sake of Christ. Rexius was inspired with profound respect for her, even allowing St. Lucy and her servants the use of a separate house, where they lived in solitude, spending their time in unceasing prayer. Whenever he left to go on military campaigns, Rexius reverently asked for St. Lucy’s prayers, and he returned victorious.

Twenty years later, St Lucy learned that Emperor Diocletian had begun a persecution against Christians. She asked Rexius to send her back to Italy where she wanted to glorify the Lord together with her fellow countrymen. Rexius had already accepted Christianity by this time under St. Lucy’s influence, and longed for martyrdom. Leaving behind his retinue and family, he followed her to Rome. The Roman prefect Aelius sentenced them to be beheaded with a sword. After them the holy martyrs Antoninus, Lucian, Isidore, Dion, Diodorus, Cutonis, Arnosus, Capicus and Satyrus were also beheaded. In all, twenty-four martyrs suffered with Sts. Lucy and Rexius.

This St. Lucy should not be confused with the Virgin Martyr Lucy of Syracuse (commemorated on December 13).

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)