The Symbolism of the IconIn this icon, St. Lucy is illuminated by the spirit of God even though she no longer as the eyes to see this one. The symbolism of the eyes on the platter is on most icons of St. Lucy. She calmly accepts her destiny (Matthew 5:10-11), and wears a dress of fire. The symbol of fire is not used in her icons but it is used in some Scandinavian processions in her honor. On her feast day of December 13th in those countries some young women crowns of lit candles as they process or sing in choir.
This particular icon eschews the golden skin and rigid pose of the Eastern Orthodox style. Her posture is relaxed, and the clothing is naturalistic. This is more similar to art produced during and after the European Renesaince. Her calmness and certainty of her choice to retain her virtue regardless of its cost, assure us of her example and prayer.
The History of St. Lucy
Medieval stories about St. Lucy assure us that her eyes were gouged out before she was martyred. The most famous accounts of her date back to the 1200’s and the work of Jacobus de Voragine and are based on orial stories dating back at least as the 500’s. St. Lucy herself lived in the 200’s. She was once so popular in Medieval and Post-Medieval England that her feast day was popularily observed as a day off from work. The story goes she lived a simple life as a Christian, however when she refused a forced marriage she was martyred.
Prayer to Saint Lucy
O God, our Creator and Redeemer, mercifully hear our prayers that as we venerate your servant, Saint Lucy, for the light of faith you bestowed upon her, you would increase and preserve this same light in our souls that we may be able to avoid evil, to do good, and to abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and of sin. Relying on your goodness, O God, we humbly ask you, by the intercessory prayers of your servant, Saint Lucy, that you would give perfect vision to our eyes, that they may serve for your greater honor and glory and for the salvation of our souls in this world, that we may come to the enjoyment of your unfailing light of the Lamb of God in paradise. Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.