The Eye of Saint Lucia: legends and hidden messages

The eye of Saint Lucia is a strange little shell that we can find all around the Mediterranean.

The subject of some of the most interesting stories and legends, it has become a very popular good luck charm among sailors and fishermen, particularly in Corsica.

In this article, we will present to you the meaning of the eye of Saint Lucia through a detailed description, the explanation of the legend which gave it its name and the benefits that certain jewelry which uses it offers us.

We will talk about stories that are sometimes very old, sometimes more current, but always interesting for you who like to learn more about the particularities of European cultures!

Contents :

Description of this little shell

Where can you find Saint Lucia eyes?

The jewels of the eye of Saint Lucia: true benefits of nature

The legend of Saint Lucia's eye

Shells scattered on the sand of a beach in Southern Europe.

Description of this little shell

The Eye of Saint Lucy, also known as the Eye of Venus or the Eye of the Virgin, is formed from the mineralized operculum of a small mollusc of the family Turbinidae. Better known as “biou”, this is a gastropod with a rounded shape typical of Mediterranean regions.

Scientists prefer the names “astralium rugosum” or “astraea rugosa” to designate the eyes of Saint Lucia.

If you are lucky enough to spend your vacation in Corsica or the South of France (or even live there) and want to hunt for these shells, here is a clearer description that will help you find them.

Its shell is formed by a spiral whose two sides have different colors : one is pearly white while the other is coral colored, sometimes tending towards bright orange.

According to some stories, the orange side symbolizes the love of the Virgin Mary and the white side represents the eye of Saint Lucy.

Round, slightly oval in shape, the shell has a maximum size of twenty-five to thirty millimeters. Rather flat, its thickness is approximately five millimeters.

If you want to see what they look like, here are some “Eye of Saint Lucia” shells that we have added to our site.

Little extra tip to help you find one: some say that the orange side of Saint Lucia's eyes resembles an ear.

Landscape of a seaside in Corsica, with a beach and waves under a sunset.

Where can you find Saint Lucia eyes?

Shells of this type are found mainly in warm waters such as the China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The latter have a rather round, mother-of-pearl-colored shell, are between ten millimeters and one hundred millimeters in size and exist in a whole bunch of different colors... However, they have nothing to do with the real eye of Saint Lucia!

Indeed, there are a whole bunch of shells in nature that resemble the one that interests us. Novices can easily be fooled. Some traders have understood this well and do not hesitate to offer “Eye of Saint Lucia” jewelry made from other species, the name not being in reality protected.

The true eye is actually only found in the western Mediterranean Sea, particularly around the Isle of Beauty and in the Marseille region.

Most of the time, it is professional fishermen who harvest them using their gigantic nets. They can also be found by courageous divers who dare to venture into the faults and between the rocks.

If you're lucky, you might also see them by the sea or on the beach (although this is rarer).

The ideal time to go hunting for St. Lucia's eyes (if you don't have equipment) is the few hours after a storm. The agitation of the sea will then have unearthed shells then buried under the sand.

However, this has a cost: when stirred in a mixture of water and sand, the surface of the shells will be damaged and some will have lost their beautiful orange pigmentation.

A lucky charm pendant, the flag of Corsica and one of Saint Lucia's eye shells.

Enjoy the Corsican ardor

thanks to the lucky charms of the island of beauty

Discover

The jewels of the eye of Saint Lucia: true benefits of nature

In Corsica, the eye of Saint Lucia is a very worked mineral. It is often combined with gold, silver or red coral from Bonifacio to create highly prized jewelry.

Many jewelers on the island therefore offer exceptional rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings that include this lucky charm... Because yes, this shell is considered a real lucky charm in Corsica!

A piece of jewelry set with it will therefore be beautiful but, above all, will offer protection and security.

Among sailors and fishermen in particular, the phenomenon is perfectly visible. Boat captains often paint depictions of it on the hull of their ship so that it can “see” the correct path when navigating the water.

Others like to wear the eye in the form of amulets called “Los Ojitos de Santa Lucia”. In Corsican culture, these jewels are recognized as being able to ward off the evil eye.

It is also not uncommon to see children (sometimes very young) wearing them, their grandmother or an aunt having given them one as a gift.

Corsican culture is rich and fascinating but yet sometimes little known. If you want to learn more about them, taking a look at our collection of Corsican lucky charms can be a fun place to start!

In short, if there is another area that gives pride of place to jewelry from the eye of Saint Lucia, it is lithotherapy. Saint Lucia's eye jewelry is in fact associated with a whole bunch of different benefits, on the mental, psychological and physical levels.

First of all, they work jointly on the root chakra and the third eye chakra. This allows them to repel negative energies that can unnecessarily stress us out while attracting those that will do us good.

Thus, the meaning of the eye of Saint Lucy is that of a shell of happiness, bringing joy and well-being to the one who possesses it.

In addition, this lucky charm would help develop confidence, bringing unshakeable faith in oneself and in one's actions.

Some also believe that if we store them where we keep our money, the eyes of Saint Lucy can have an effect on our wealth and fortune. This idea is however, let us point out, not really the most widespread…

The eye of Saint Lucia would also possess numerous physical virtues. In particular, it is recommended in cases of eye problems. It can also help with a whole host of throat disorders.

This stone can therefore be worn as jewelry (ring, bracelet, pendant) or simply placed in a pocket or bag.

In this way, the powers provided will come to the aid of the wearer, providing them with the strength and support they will need to face the uncertainties of life. By approaching life with more calm and serenity, he will perhaps finally be able to experience happiness.

Statue of the Virgin praying in front of the sea.

The legend of Saint Lucia's eye

This saint is above all a historical character whose existence is attested by numerous sources. Also known as Lucy of Syracuse, she lived from 284 to 304 AD.

We know that she was one of the first Christians martyred during the Diocletian persecution perpetrated by the Roman Empire. She is also one of Christianity's most revered saints, and even one of the eight women explicitly mentioned in the classical Roman Catholic mass.

The stories about his life differ, but most historians have been able to agree on certain points which we will now present to you... But before that, you will discover his myth.

In reality, the legend of Saint Lucy's eye comes straight from a story from the 4th century (shortly after her death).

Prayers, intervention of the Virgin Mary, miraculous healing: as you will see, the message carried is closely linked to the Christian religion. This will please some and scare others away, too bad.

The fact is that Corsica has been Catholic for centuries. Fierce defenders of their culture, it would be surprising to say the least if the inhabitants of the island abandoned this beautiful facet of their history.

In short, we are now going to tell you the story of Saint Lucia.

White marble statue of the Virgin Mary clasping her hands in prayer to God.

The story, the tale

One day, while her mother was suffering from a terrible, seemingly incurable illness, young Lucy began to pray to the Virgin Mary in the hope of a miraculous cure.

She then went to the tomb of Saint Agatha (the local saint) to pray with all the fervor she had within her.

The night that followed, little Lucie had a vision. Saint Agatha appeared to him in a dream to tell him that his mother had been healed. A second message was also brought to the little girl: she too would become a saint and would be adored by the inhabitants of Syracuse.

Shortly after, Lucy decided to dedicate her virginity to the saint who had helped heal her mother and to return to Syracuse. (It was from this city that his family came).

There she lived the life of a devout Christian, ridding herself of her material possessions and doing everything possible not to sin.

Her religious fervor was such that she tore out her eyes and threw them into the sea in order to ward off any suitor who would seek to seduce her and thus make her deviate from her path of faith.

Then entirely devoted to prayer, she would have performed a large number of miracles. In response to his simply exceptional devotion, the Virgin Mary appeared one day to give him back his eyes, eyes even more beautiful and radiant with grace than those she had before ("Ochji belli e lucenti").

Since then, it is said that, among the shells that we have been talking to you about, the real eyes of the Saint are hidden.

We therefore understand better why these have been adorned with exceptional qualities and benefits! They are still linked to a great saint who performed many miracles!

This also explains why Saint Lucy is often prayed to for healing from eye diseases.

Ruins of a Roman villa near the Syracuse area.

Youth

Lucy was born in 283 into a wealthy family who lived in the Syracuse region.

His father appears to have been a Roman nobleman, while his mother, Eutychia, was of Greek origin. When the child was five years old, her father died, leaving her and her mother to fend for themselves.

From his earliest childhood, the child became closer to the Christian religion, going so far as to convert.

This may not seem particularly impressive to us, but you should know that in pagan Roma, embracing the Christian faith often meant death and persecution.

Already very young, the little girl showed great courage.

She knew that she would have to get married one day and that a dowry had been set aside for her. However, as we have already discussed, she had secretly dedicated her virginity to God.

While young girls her age dreamed of finding a loving husband, she hoped with all her heart to be able to lead a single life and offer her dowry to the poor.

Woman praying in a small chapel to ask for healing.

A conflict between generations

Her mother, however, Eutychia, ignored her daughter's wish and desire for celibacy and a Christian life. She then arranged a marriage, betrothed to a young man from a very pagan Roman family.

If you are also preparing a wedding, here is a friendly site that creates engagement rings and jewelry.

In short, the engagement was quickly arranged, not least because of Eutychia's poor health. The mother undoubtedly wanted to ensure a comfortable future for her descendants whatever the outcome of her illness.

In short, Lucie was soon faced with a fait accompli…

It was at that moment that she prayed to Saint Agatha (as we told you about just before). Faced with the miraculous healing that followed, her mother accepted, not without sadness, that the young Christian lead the life she desired and distribute her dowry to the poor and destitute.

Stone sculpture of the sad face of a saint undergoing martyrdom.

Denunciation and martyrdom

Lucy's plan to distribute her dowry reached the ears of her Roman fiancé who, mad with anger, denounced her to the authorities of the time. Paschasius, the governor of Syracuse, then ordered the girl to prove her devotion to the empire by performing a sacrifice in honor of the emperor.

Fiercely rooted in her faith, Lucie refused and was sentenced to be placed in a brothel, as punishment for her refusal to conform.

Christian tradition teaches us that, despite having superior physical strength in every way, the soldiers charged with taking him away were unable to move his body. Here is an article which retraces more precisely what the horrors of his martyrdom were.

Some versions of her legend tell us that it was during this episode that she lost her eyes, torn out by her torturers.

Regardless, the fact is that the girl's persecution ended when she died from a sword cut.

Candles placed outside in the middle of winter for the feast of Saint Lucy.

The veneration of Saint Lucy

Around the 6th century, the story of the martyrdom of this pious Christian who refused until the end to deny Christ began to spread across Europe. In fact, the legend of Saint Lucy was so well known that Pope Gregory I himself mentioned it in a sacramentary.

Even today, she is venerated in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches, with some branches of Protestantism choosing to leave the saints aside.

Saint Lucy is the patroness of the blind. This is not surprising given his martyrdom and the story of the loss of his eyes.

More surprisingly, however, she is also the patron saint of authors, of certain craft professions, of workers and of the martyred in general.

The city of Syracuse (in Sicily) has also decided to place itself under his patronage, as required by the revelations made to him by Saint Agatha. Additionally, there is a small island in the Caribbean named… Saint Lucia!

Obviously, we must see here a nod to this major saint of the Christian religion.

In the Christian calendar, the feast of Saint Lucy is December 13, right in the middle of Advent when the days are the coldest of the year.

Its name comes from the Latin root “lux”, a word meaning “light”. This explains why the saint is often represented in religious art (painting, sculpture, etc.) as bringing light. A link can undoubtedly also be established with his patronage of the blind and visually impaired.

It is undoubtedly for this reason that, in Scandinavian culture, the day of December 13 sees a celebration during which young girls dressed in white dresses and crowns dance to celebrate the coming of the darkest days of Winter.

The message of this celebration is undoubtedly that of a festival of light reminding us of the memory of a woman who was punished for also wanting to bring the light of Christianity to the world.

Lucky charm featured in this article

Eye of Saint Lucia shell

Eye of Saint Lucia shell

See more
author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.