Ophthalmologists who practice in sections where there are many Italians frequently hear reference to Santa Lucia as a patron saint of those who suffer from ocular troubles. Having been presented with a statuette of the saint by a grateful patient, I became interested to learn more of her life and the reasons why she is supposed to make special intercession for those afflicted with disorders of the eyes. It soon became evident that there are both a historical account of Saint Lucy and a legend which sprang up much later, the former entitling her to a place as a virgin martyr and the latter making her a special saint to those with ocular complaints.
Certain facts of the life of Saint Lucy appear to be well authenticated, and she is one of the few women whose names appear in the canon of the mass of Gregory the Great. Born of
EUGENE M. BLAKE. SANTA LUCIA, PATRONESS OF THE EYES. Arch Ophthalmol. 1940;23(3):526–533. doi:10.1001/archopht.1940.00860130590007