Today is the feast day of one of my favorite saints. Saint Lucy is the virginal glory of Syracuse. Before Lucy's martyrdom to Christ, the glorious virgin martyr Saint Agatha appeared to Lucy and said, "Soon you shall be the glory of Syracuse, as I am of Catania."
Dante, in the Divine Comedy, gives special literary significance to Saint Lucy. He especially highlights the believed chain of mediation of graces that begin with Christ, through, Mary, and then through particular saints.
The Inferno is, of course, a story of Dante beging guided by Virgil through Hell. We learn that Virgil was summoned as Dante's tour guide by his beloved Beatrice, who was summoned by St Lucy, who was summoned by the Blessed Virgin Mary (2, 94-96):
Hence, Saint Lucy is a special patron and advocate for Dante. Why is this? Saint Lucy is the patron of light and sight. It would seem that a poet would need such light to be rightly inspired. Moreover, the pathway through Hell would require a special patroness of light.
At the end of the Divine Comedy, in Paradiso 32, Saint Lucy is placed opposite of Adam within the Mystic Rose of Heaven. It would seem, then, that Saint Lucy was greatly esteemed by Dante. Perhaps her association with Adam reveals here as one who did not abuse her eyesight for the sake of evil.
"And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat." (Gen 3:6 D-R)
Saint Lucy is powerful martyr and intercessor. She is an icon of virginity and chastity. We must teach her example to our daughters.
If I might put a plug in here. I'm especially grateful to the University of Dallas for requiring their doctoral students to study literature, philosophy, theology, and politics, regardless of their field of study. I greatly benefited in this regard during my PhD work at the University of Dallas. As one who works in philosophy and theology, I certainly grew by reading and studying great works of literature, like Dante's Comedy. As Catholics, we need to do be deep in the liberal arts, because the great Western Culture of Christendom is crashing down around us.
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