|Saint Lucy, Virgin and
Martyr - Died ca. 304
St. Lucy's name comes from the Latin lux, "light," and as a result her attributes are sometimes a torch or a candle (example).
In the Golden Legend a Roman judge named Paschasius orders St. Lucy to be taken to a brothel and violated until she dies. But a strange power makes her immovable (image). Then Paschasius tries fire, also unsuccessfully, and finally has her throat cut. Before he can learn whether this will succeed the judge is arrested by the Emperor's emissaries. St. Lucy is then able to take communion (image) before dying (image).
In portraits, St. Lucy is sometimes shown with a wound across her throat (example). But by far her most common attribute is her eyes, sometimes poised on a platter in her hand (example) and in other cases simply held between her fingers (as at left). The eyes refer to a detail of the torture story that is not included in the Golden Legend and that may have originated in the etymology of the saint's name.
In portraits with the eyes St. Lucy usually also holds a palm branch signifying martyrdom, as at left and in this painting.
Feast day: December 13
At left, Zaganelli's St. Lucy