ALL EYES ON YOU. The sacred image of Sta. Lucia de Mata, patroness of Sta. Lucia, Calumpit, Bulacan. ca. 1920s.
Santa Lucia (b.283-d.304) or St. Lucy was but 14 years old when she was martyred for her faith by Paschasius, during the Diocletian persecution, this after being tortured by having her eyes gouged out. Because of this, she is invoked against diseases of the eyes. A popular saint in the Philippines, she is revered in Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur (where she is known as 'Apo Baket'), Sasmuan in Pampanga (where the riotous Kuraldal is held in her honor every January) and Capalonga in Camarines Norte.
Sta. Lucia is also the patron of barrio Sta. Lucia in Calumpit, Bulacan, one of the town's oldest. Her 2-day December feast (Dec. 12, 13) is marked with a colorful street festival, with daily Masses and Novenas starting on Dec. 4. The fiesta is capped with spectacular firework displays.
The antique, de vestir image of Sta. Lucia enshrined in the church, is crowned and holds a palm of martyrdom and a dish on which a pair of eyes rests. It is reputed to be miraculous, as attested by many stories of healing--especially with regarsd to vision problems--through the centuries.