Tag Archives: ais indians

The River of Santa Lucea–Help Us to See the Light, SLR/IRL

Santa Lucea or Saint Lucy, Francesco del Cossa
The name of the St Lucie River is linked to the legend of Saint Lucy who is the saint of sight.  (Francesco del Cossa c. 1430 -c. 1477)

There are many names and many spellings and they are all related: Saint Lucie; Saint Lucy; Santa Lucea; Santa Lucia…they are related to the name of our ailing river.

If one lives in Martin County or St Lucie County one may drive over the bridges across the Saint Lucie River every day. But do we ever stop to think?

Saint Lucie….

Santa Lucia…

What’s in the name?

The legend and name of Saint Lucie–is an ancient one, one that was first given to our area by the Spanish who built a settlement whose inhabitants were famoulsy killed by the Ais Indians. These indians lived along what became known as the Indian River Lagoon of which the St Lucie River is part.

From what I have deduced, the word “Lucie” is related to the word “light.” Perhaps the Spanish named their settlement and the near river after the river the beautiful sunrises and sunsets reflecting heavenly light—the light of their creator…

Interestingly, Saint Lucy’s legend is one of which she defended and spoke up for herself and for her beliefs and was ¬†persecuted as a Christian as many were during her day. The story goes that the judge was so angered by her that he had her eyes torn out prior to her execution, however, when she was buried her eyes miraculously reappeared.

Thus today she is the saint of sight…

What a story. What a reminder for us all.

May we see the light…

Florida Archeological Society: The location of Santa Lucia: http://www.academia.edu/1084665/The_Location_of_the_Paramount_Town_of_the_Ais_Indians_and_the_General_Location_of_the_Indians_of_Santa_Lucia
Florida Exploration: http://www.accioncultural.es/virtuales/florida/exploracion/florida_1941.html

Ais Indians of the Indian River Lagoon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ais_people

Saint Lucy (Santa Lucie/Santa Lucea/Saint Lucie) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy