St. Lucius, King
(Lleuwg, Lud)

3 December

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2nd century king or chieftain in the British Isles. The "Liber Pontificalis," c. 530 or later, states that a British king called Lucius wrote to Pope Eleutherius (c. 180), asking him in effect to send. Bede says that evangelists were sent, and had great success in the south and west of Britain and Wales. Lucius founded the dioceses of London and Llandaff. Lucius later became a missionary himself, taking the Gospel to the Grissons in what is modern Switzerland.

Many modern scholars regard Lucius as inadvertent pious fiction. We know that King Lucius of Edessa wrote to Pope Eleuterus to ask for missionaries to the Britium region near Mesopotamia. Combined with the lack of popular devotion to Lucius in Britain, and no mention in writings before the 6th century leads to the belief that some old hand-written documents were misread, and were seen as an explanation for some early missionary efforts in England and Wales.

Saint Lucius is generally depicted as a king with three sceptres tipped with crosses. Occasionally he is shown (1) ploughing with a bear and ox; (2) with an idol falling from a broken column; or (3) in armour with a pilgrim's staff. Venerated in Grisons, Switzerland (Roeder).

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content © 2008, Ambrose Mooney
layout © 2008, Kathleen Hanrahan and Mo! Langdon
Page last updated: 27 November 2008
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