Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saint Lucy: Relevant even in the 1980's

For my money, the best saint stories are the ones with the creepiest details. Breasts being cut off. Being charbroiled on an open fire. And plucking out your own eyes, as the saint of the day did.

Lucy of Syracuse (Sicily) in legends was this beautiful virginal Christian. She was the object of desire by a pagan neighbor who told her he loved her beautiful blue eyes. So, naturally, she plucked her eyes out and gave them to him. I mean, who wouldn't?

To add to the macabre, after her martyrdom (decapitation), her remains moved from one place to another for various reasons. In 1981, her remains were in Venice, Italy and some vandals stole them. Well, the story is here via the magic of the internet time machine:

St Lucy's relics found intact

THE MUMMIFIED remains of St. Lucy, stolen over a month ago, have been found intact in a nylon bag just outside Venice by police. No ransom has been paid and a restaurant manager, Glanfranco Tiozzo is helping police with inquiries.
The discovery was made on the saint's feast day as thousands of Faithful were paying their respects to the relics left behind by the robbers. The remaining relics, including the saint's skull, had been put behind bullet proof glass and protected by electronic alarms.
St Lucy, patron saint of photographers and opticians, was martyred in the fourth century by the Emperor Diocletian. Her relics were interred in the church of St Geremia, Venice, where they remained undisturbed for 300 years.
The bones were stolen early last month by two armed robbers who broke into the church and held up the parish priest Don Manzato. During the robbery the saint's skull became detached from the rest of the corpse and was left behind.
The thieves then telephoned the Milan office of the state radio and television network, and threatened to burn the bones unless a ransom of more than 200 million lire (about £100,000) was paid.
But police were initially sceptical of the call because they had already received calls from several groups claiming to have the remains.
The theft is one of a spate of robberies of saintly relics. The bones of St Pius I, bishop of Aquileia, were also taken recently from a private chapel at Caiarine di ('onegliano, near Venice. They have not yet been recovered, and their owner is collecting money to pay a ransom demand.

I put the amazing bit in red.
They found her remains on her feast day.

I love saints.