Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I’ve Only Got Eyes for You

(With the you in question either being God or the jerk who actually took her eyes.)

Long, long ago, I wrote about St. Agatha, the Catholic patroness of bell-makers. How did she achieve this association with bells, you may ask? When St. Agatha was martyred, her breasts were cut off, and subsequent depictions of her show off her martyr wounds by having her display her severed breasts on a platter. Out of the context of her story, the severed breasts resemble bells. I mean, why else would she so proudly show them off?

Today, I present to you another sad sack saint, whose shtick is almost as horrifying: Saint Lucy, patroness of the blind. Guess what part she lost on her route to martyrdom?

Here, then, are eight images of St. Lucy, showing off what she doesn’t have anymore:

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Most disturbing of all is this last one, in which St. Lucy sports her eyes on a sprig of foliage, for no reason other than to appear more horrifying:



I present these not to offend but to marvel at the darkly surreal image of a woman serenely presenting her eyes, even when she seems to still have her eyes in her head. Also, isn’t it strange how the artists often choose to represent her eyes how they might have appeared on her face instead of as eyeballs — like they would have looked had they been removed from her face? Yes, Catholicism is a strange, strange practice. Case in point: cephalophore, a strange and wonderful word used to refer to someone carrying their own head.

God bless!

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