Exploring the History of Medicine, Part 15: Venice, Part 10

January 1, 2022


Santa Lucia (Continued)

The martyrdom of Lucia (sacrificing one's life for the sake of one's faith) became widely known throughout the entire Roman Empire.

In the 6th century, she began to be revered as the guardian saint of Christianity across the entire church.

In modern times, she is known as the patron saint of eyes, visually impaired individuals, Syracuse, Naples, and Venice.

In Naples, there is even a harbor named Santa Lucia.

In Dante's "Divine Comedy," Saint Lucia is depicted as a woman carrying celestial light.

The Fourth Crusade transported her remains from Sicily to Venice, where they were enshrined in a church.

This church was later dismantled when constructing the new entrance, Santa Lucia Station, on the main island of Venice.

The remains were then relocated to the nearby Church of San Geremia, right next to the station.

Even now, Saint Lucia sleeps inside a glass case on the brightly lit main altar surrounded by numerous lamps.


“Lux” and “lumen” are internationally used units to measure the brightness of light.

The origin of these words can be traced back to Latin, where “lux” means "light," and “luceo” means "to shine."

When used as a prefix in compound words, it becomes luci- and signifies "bright" or "clear."

Saint Lucia's name, Lucia, is abbreviated from 1ucidus via (the path of light).

In medical terminology, “lucid” is used to express "transparent" fluids or "clear" consciousness.

“Lumen” means "cavity," representing an "open space where light enters."

From the Latin “lux,” words like luxe, deluxe, and luxury emerged in English, conveying notions of elegance and extravagance.

In Japanese, we also refer to luxurious items as luxury.

The term “luxury” comes from the idea of shining brightly.

Moreover, commonly used words like "illustrate" and "illumination" originate from the meaning "to bring light" or "to make clear."

In Roman mythology, the goddess Lucina appears.

The name “Lucina” symbolizes the one who brings something into the light.

Lucina is the protector goddess of childbirth, bringing children from darkness into the bright world.

Lucina also carries the meaning of "moon," as she illuminates the darkness.

   By the way, one more thing.

In Roman mythology, there is also Diana, the goddess of the moon and hunting.

Therefore, the female name Diana is associated with the moon.

Speaking of Diana, one might recall Princess Diana of Wales.

She married Prince Charles of the United Kingdom in 1981.

She had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and divorced Charles.

Then, as everyone knows, she tragically died in a car accident in Paris in 1997.

Like her namesake, Diana was a beautiful woman and illuminated the darkness.