Yesterday was a special day for us in Syracuse, for we saw the procession in honor of Santa Lucia, the patron saint of this ancient city. We were able to see the statue of the saint from afar. We could not get close, because a large crowd surrounded it.

Both the litter and the statue have a silver color. Santa Lucia has a knife stuck in her throat because, according to tradition, she was killed this way. She ran into the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian, the most bloody in the history of the Roman Empire.

The incorrupt body of Santa Lucia rests in Venice, because the Venetians brought it back to Italy from Constantinople, during the Fourth Crusade.  However, Santa Lucia was born and lived in Syracuse. This is why the city of Syracuse has called for the return of her body to her hometown, but to no avail.

On December 13, fifty brethren carry the statue on their shoulders from the Cathedral to the Church of Santa Lucia, located near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears. The route is approximately three kilometers. It takes about five hours to get to the Church of Santa Lucia from the Cathedral. The statue is very heavy and the bearers often stop to take a rest.

Even though we could not get close to the statue, the atmosphere and sacredness of the procession touched our hearts!

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English edition)

– A Hidden Sicilian History (English edition)

– The Vibrations of Words (English edition)

– Travels of the Mind (English edition)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (edizione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (edizione in lingua italiana)


These days, many fruit sellers in Sicily display wheat grains, the basic ingredient to cook cuccìa, the traditional dish that some Sicilian families still eat on Santa Lucia’s day, December 13.

Today, while I was hanging about the marketplace, I saw some grains of wheat on display and  asked the fruit seller how to make cuccìa.

She said that the wheat grains should be kept soaking in water for two days. Only then can they be boiled. After they are cooked, just add some sugar before eating them. However, they can also be seasoned in different ways, for example with ricotta, honey, chocolate, candied fruit, and so on.

I love Santa Lucia. She is considered the protector of the eyes and sight. I feel that she is also the protector of another kind of eyes: the eyes of the soul, of the heart, of the mind.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind