Saint Lucy was born of wealthy parents in Syracusa, Sicily. At an early age she took a vow of virginity. The young man who later wished to marry her was enraged by her vow and condemned her as a Christian (a crime punishable by death at that time) before the Emperor Diocletian. As part of her tortures, to try to force her to give up her faith, her eyes were said to have been plucked out, and then restored miraculously by an act of God. This is why St. Lucy is always portrayed with a dish with eyes in it. This also reminds us that St. Lucy is the Patron of diseases of the eyes and has been invoked from the earliest centuries against diseases of the eyes.