When visitors arrive on St Lucia, they’re often amazed by the spectacular environment, endless blue seas, and isolated beaches. After a little while spent on the island, however, it’s common to become curious about the finer details and the rich history of the island around them. One of the questions you might hear amongst a party arriving for a wedding in St Lucia is ‘how did the island get its name?’
Saint Lucia is named for a saint, one of seven women aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.
In the stories, Saint Lucy is reputed to have been denounced as a Christian by her would-be husband, and when her prison guards found themselves unable to move or burn her, they plucked out her eyes with a fork! Maybe not a story to tell to any impressionable children! Another variant of this grisly tale is that when Saint Lucy’s husband simply admired her eyes, she tore them out herself and gave them to him, saying that her decision would be to ‘live to God’, and not to look for earthly pleasures.
There are many different versions of Saint Lucy’s story, but they all share a common theme – that of her eyes. It’s an apt name for an island with such breathtaking views on offer, and it also bears relevance to a wedding in St Lucia, where the bride and groom are traditionally supposed to ‘see’ each other truly for the first time.
Saint Lucy’s Latin name, Lucia, shares a root with the Latin word for light – ‘lux’. In the most widely-read version of the Lucy legend during the Middle Ages, the beginning of the story started with the affirmation that ‘In Lucy is the way of light.’ Many a wedding in St Lucia has used the theme – weddings at sunrise, in particular, are all about beginning new lives together in the light of a new day.