Crypt (Chapel of St. Lucy)
There is a crypt below the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which was turned into the Chapel of St. Lucy (Sv. Luce). The Chapel is dedicated to holy Lucie of Syracuse, one of the last victims of Christian persecutions under Diocletian’s reign, towards 304 after JC.
Holy Lucie was a young Christian woman, a girl of noble and a very rich family of Syracuse, who dedicated her life to God, which was very dangerous at the time. She went with her mother to the catacomb to pray with other Christians. In the meantime, a young man fell in love with her. She kindly refused his marriage proposal. He was angry because of it, so he chose to report her to Roman authorities. She was arrested and killed the same day. They put her at a stake to be burned, but the fire did not touch her at all. One of the Roman soldiers finally cut her head with sword. After the Edict of Milan the Pope proclaimed her saint. Her memory day is the date of her death - 13th December 304 AD.
The residents of Split extremely respected Saint Lucia. December 13th is a very important day. The crypt is open to the public, a mass is said, the source of water is blessed and each can take some holy water for the eyes; holy Lucy protects the blind.
The legend says: Lucie gauged out her eyes out of despair and sent them to her rejected fiancé on a plate. By miracle, the Virgin Mary or maybe St. Rafael returned even more beautiful eyes to her; this is the reason why holy Lucy is the patroness of the blind and of eye problem.
Christians celebrate December 13th with lot of candles, and gifts for children. It is a feast of light, the victory of light over darkness.
The Crypt is open for visitors, with a 10 kn entrance fee.