Saint Lucy church in La Pila

The present church is of 1933, when it was rebuilt thanks to a committee of benefactors as the commemorative plaque on the right wall of the church (as you enter) reminds. The most ancient part dates back to the XVIII century as some documents attest. There was also a little hermitage. Many hermits lived and died in this sacred place. The original church was less big, and it is consecrated to Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr.
Saint Lucy church is on top of a silent hill. Saint Lucy hill is full of vegetation and of tall tree protecting the church from wind and noises. Below there is a wonderful valley with the small La Pila airport.
On the white facade there are two lesenes and two chains coming out from them help the walls not to fall. At the base, on both sides, there is a stonework support with the function of barbicans. The original bell tower was a bell gable at it was on the facade.
The present church has always had a little bell, and during the '60 its position was changed. Now it is on the back of the church. The inside of the church is really sober. There is just one nave and one granitic altar where, on Saint Lucy day, the statue of the Saint is placed.
Beyond the altar, in a glass case, there is Saint Lucy statue with a flower bouquet in the right hand and a tray with her eyes on it on the left one.


Thanks to the interview to “Nonna Peppa” (grandmother Peppa), the “grandmother of Elba”, Miss Giuseppa Zoppi-Mancini (9 ottobre 1907- 8 ottobre 2015), we gathered some information. She remembers that when she was young there was a big festival at Saint Lucy church and in the square there were the “baroccini”, that is to say the stands. On that occasion she and the local people spent the money saved all the year (to buy something or to do offering to the church). But often she gave her hard-earned money to the poor waiting on the street to the church for the occasion.

Information about the Saint

Saint Lucy worship spread everywhere during the IV century, soon after her death. Today she is worshipped both by the Catholics and by the Orthodox Christians. She was born in Syracuse in 283 in an aristocratic family. Her father died soon and her mother taught her the Crhistian principles. At that time Christians were persecuted and the Christian rites were celebrated in the catacombs. One day, she decided to consecrate her life to God. Her mother, Eutichia suffered for years of a blood flow considered incurable. Lucy was taking care of her. One day she suggested Lucy to go on pilgrimage to Catania and to ask Saint Agata to cure her. When she came back her mother had been miraculously cured.
Lucy decided to give up marriage and to give her goods to the poor. When she gave up marriage she was labelled as Christian. She was arrested, processed and tortured in order to give up her faith. But she was firm. Nor the soldiers, nor two bulls could change her mind. She was not worried when they set her on fire, nor when they stabbed her in her throat to keep her quiet. A legend says they tore off her eyes but she put them in the right place and saw again. She was condemned to decapitation and died as a martyr the 13th December 304 (on the 13th December is her liturgical holiday). Lucy was immediately worshipped as a Saint. Her name is linked to the light and that’s why she is considered the protector of the sight and of the eyes.

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