Pope Francis meeting with the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired at the Vatican, Dec. 12, 2022 / Vatican Media
Rome Newsroom, Dec 12, 2022 / 08:04 am (CNA).
On the eve of the feast of St. Lucy, Pope Francis encouraged members of an association for the blind and visually impaired to follow the example of the young martyr by courageously standing up for the truth.
“Lucy, a Syracusan martyr, reminds us by her example that the highest dignity of the human person consists in bearing witness to the truth, following one’s conscience whatever the costs, without duplicity and without compromise,” he said at the Vatican Dec. 12.
Pope Francis meeting with the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired at the Vatican, Dec. 12, 2022. Vatican Media
On the Italian island region of Sicily, the pope spoke about the virgin saint from Syracuse, whose feast day is celebrated Dec. 13, during a meeting with the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Francis said that bearing witness to the truth “means being on the side of the light, serving the light, as the very name ‘Lucia’ evokes.”
He encouraged people “to be clear, transparent, sincere people; to communicate with others in an open, clear, respectful way. This is how one contributes to spreading light in the environments in which one lives, to make them more human, more livable.”
Pope Francis recalled that he was ordained a priest 53 years ago on the feast of St. Lucy, Dec. 13, 1969.
St. Lucy is the patron saint of people with disabilities or diseases of sight, the pope said, noting that sometimes people with disabilities are treated with “pity” and “welfarism.”
Special blessing: Pope Francis meeting with members of the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired at the Vatican, Dec. 12, 2022. Vatican Media
That should no longer be the Christian view, but there should be “an awareness that frailty, taken on with responsibility and solidarity, is a resource for the whole social body and for the ecclesial community,” he said.
St. Lucy is, he said, “a young and defenseless woman who, however, does not give in to threats and flattery; on the contrary, she courageously responds and stands up to the judge who questions her.”
“With Lucia’s protection and example, go forth.”