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on the virgin and the martyr

In my Grandmother’s home she had three walls dedicated to photos.  Most of them were of her children and grandchildren.  The rest was artwork, mainly of a spiritual nature.

The one that stood out for me was a large glass framed picture of St. Lucy, or Santa Lucia. It was disturbing and I never asked my Grandmother why this angelic lady was holding a golden plate with two eyeballs.  I just thought she liked the picture.

When I asked my Mom about it years later, she said she didn’t know what it represented either.  Her answer reminded me of my Catholic church years, of tradition and of how many of those who had grown up in the Catholic church could not explain to me why they were kneeling.  It reminded me of the many things we just accept, because they just are and because they’ve always been.

According to some stories, she is the patron saint of vision and died both a virgin and martyr, tortured by having her eyes removed before her death, by sword.  Many stories also suggest her eyes were restored before her burial.

The story, in its various versions, encourages me to contemplate my vision for life, reminding me that one can live in peace and still die by sword.

Last, it reminds me that sight sometimes only comes in eternal sleep…


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