A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Our new banner: Saint Lucy warning the Governor


St Lucy before the judge

The banner image at the top of this website is cropped from a painting depicting Lucy – a rich Christian woman of Sicily who refused marriage and gave her money to the poor. Her rejected suitor (a pagan fellow her mother had betrothed her to) denounced Lucy to the authorities during the Diocletian persecution.

The Governor of Syracuse ordered Lucy to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image. When she refused, the Governor sentenced her to be defiled in a brothel. Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Bundles of wood were then heaped about her and set on fire, but would not burn. Finally, she met her death by the sword in 304 AD.

A later legend says that Lucy’s eyes were gouged out as part of the persecution but were miraculously restored at her death.

In the painting above, Lucy is standing before the Governor who condemned her at the behest of the abuser who sought to marry her. She is pointing upward to Heaven, warning the judge of the wrath that will come upon him for siding with the ungodly. The Holy Spirit hovers over her.

Lucy was later canonised as a saint by the Roman Catholic church. The painting is part of a series by Lorenzo Lotto depicting the story of St Lucy. The painting is located at the Pinacoteca Civica in the town of Jesi, Italy.

We have chosen another image of Saint Lucy for the profile picture on our FaceBook page. It shows Lucy with her eyes gouged out. The artist is Adolfo Wildt, a little-known sculptor from early 20th century.

St Lucy

Please, male survivors, we hope don’t take offence at the gender balance in these images. As you will know if you follow our blog, most of the victims we support are female, but some are male, and we never want to make the blokes feel marginalised or invisibilized (yeah, I know it’s not a real word). So please, we hope you bear with these images graciously.

Here is another painting of Saint Lucy before the Governor. In this one she is harnessed to the team of oxen that are going to try to drag her to a brothel.


You might like to check out the Pinterest board for A Cry For Justice [Internet Archive link].


  1. Julie Anne

    I don’t care what your banner is (LOL), you just needed any picture so we can start “pinning” your articles on Pinterest. Thanks! Now, can you kindly remind me which my favorite articles are? 🙂

    • Julie Anne, you really don’t care! You mean I spent all those hours trying to find a suitable picture that would crop to the right size, and I could have put up a picture of a can of soup? Hmph!

      Love you 🙂

      • Barnabasintraining

        Mmm. Soup! 🙂

      • Brenda R

        lol. Thank you, Barb I needed that. A can of soup!!!

  2. Brenda R

    This is a fitting image of ACFJ. Whether fiction or non, this is a true picture of abuse and what abusers are capable of since the fall.

  3. won't tell

    that is a beautiful profile picture and I may steal it… just warning you. 🙂

    well done with the theme.

  4. nowfree

    Thanks Barb!

    I love the banner and I love St. Lucy. Such an inspiration to us all!

    • nowfree

      Hmmm…I mistook the painting for the banner…lol.

  5. When this post was first published, the banner was not visible! My boo boo, sorry. Your perceptions were not wrong, so relax! I have now got the banner visible. Whew!

    Also, just in case you are wondering, Saint Lucy is venerated not just in the Roman Catholic tradition but also in Anglicanism, Lutheranism and the Orthodox church (source). So we are not promoting Roman Catholicism by our use of Lucy’s story.

  6. Barnabasintraining

    This is very educational for me as I’d never heard of St. Lucy. Seems to me this suitor’s position, like most abusers, is “I say you are no one’s but mine! Especially God’s! How dare you disagree!”

    • Yes. And significantly, the suitor (the pagan who Lucy’s mother had betrothed her to) was furious that Lucy wanted to give away her large inheritance to the poor; he would have believed all that money should be under his control.

      For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. 1 Tim. 6:10

      • Brenda R

        I’m glad you pointed that out. It wasn’t her he wanted at all, it was her money!! She prevailed!! I’m sure she is in Heaven, him I think is somewhere he’s not real happy to be.

    • Brenda R

      I always hear on tv, “either I have you, or no one will’. When I heard this I didn’t think they were speaking about God. But, the bottom line is he gave her to God completely. I am sure she saw Him first on the day of her death.

  7. nowfree

    St. Lucy’s Day is celebrated in Sweden on December 13. My birthday is also on that day.:)

    • Brenda R

      Maybe we should join in on the festivities. She was killed for standing up for what she believed in. Abused for making a choice to live completely for God and not marry, which should have been her right.

      • nowfree

        We can all light a candle for Saint Lucy. Candles are lit in abundance during Saint Lucy’s Day. I know my birthday will never be the same. 🙂

      • Brenda R

        Sounds good. I will put it on the calendar and remember your birthday too!!

  8. Adding these two links to info about the paintings of St Lucy, for any who are interested.
    St. Lucy [Internet Archive link]
    Santa Lucia nella pittura: Lorenzo Lotto [Internet Archive link]

    • Brenda R

      Thank you for that. I really like that portrait. I looked on ebay for a reprint. Nope. A couple of his other paintings, but not that one. Maybe that’s not the one I should have. I have lived in my apartment for 6 months and don’t have a single thing on the wall.

  9. nowfree

    Than you Brenda. It’s funny. I had heard of Festival of Lights being celebrated years ago on December 13, but did not know the story of St. Lucy. Now it has a much deeper meaning to me and I’m sure to all of us. I’ll be celebrating my birthday with my niece, and family, and they are strong Christians. Her husband is from Sweden and it’s quite likely he knows about St. Lucy.

  10. nowfree

    “….Lucy took the opportunity to persuade her mother to allow her to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor.[1]

    “Euthychia suggested that the sums would make a good bequest, but Lucy countered, ‘…whatever you give away at death for the Lord’s sake you give because you cannot take it with you. Give now to the true Savior, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death.'[6]

    “News that the patrimony and jewels were being distributed came to Lucy’s betrothed, who denounced her to Paschasius, the Governor of Syracuse. Paschasius ordered her to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image. When she refused Paschasius sentenced her to be defiled in a brothel. The Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Bundles of wood were then heaped about her and set on fire, but would not burn. Finally, she met her death by the sword.” Wikipedia

    Lucy’s betrothed was angered by her decision to not only give her wealth to the poor…he was even more incensed that she would do so before her death. Imagine…his patrimony and her jewels given to the poor! Not to mention that he was from a wealthy family.

    From my experience, this is typical greedy behaviour of the abuser. Very typical.

  11. Brenda R

    I Finally found reproductions of St Lucy before the judge. $200+. I will have to save my pennies.

    • okey dokey, where are they, Brenda? I might try to get one too.

      • Brenda R

        I found them online @ 1st-art-gallery.com. $207 was for a 16 x 20. They have much larger but @ a lofty price.

  12. Jean Marie

    I love the new image. It has allot of meaning in it! I think of this image often now.

  13. Brenda R

    Let’s all remember St. Lucy today and others who stood up for injustice.

    Happy Birthday NowFree

    • Yes, Happy Birthday Now Free!

    • Jean Marie

      My cousins married a man from Finland. He practices lots of Swedish traditions. My homeschool group just did a “Christmas around the world.” For our presentation we sang Santa Lucia in Swedish today. It is a BEAUTIFUL song! But even as I did all this I never connected it with this story and this blog post. Not until I saw Brenda’s mention on here! How wonderful! This gives it all so much more meaning to me now. Here is the song, if it will let me add a link Christmas – Santa Lucia Sweden

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