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Catholic Activity: St. Lucy Party (For Girls)

Here is some information on the Feast of St. Lucy (or Lucia), December 13, and an idea for a party for girls on this feast.

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With the feast of the valiant virgin-martyr, Lucy, we arrive at another increase of the light of Christ, which shines across the entire season of Advent. St. Lucy's name is privileged to be in the canon of Holy Mass, along with the other "winter" virgins, Cecilia, Agnes and Agatha. These four virginal lights illuminate the season of physical darkness. Lucy succeeded in imitating Mary's purity in her own life, and her feast is in perfect harmony with the octave of the Immaculate Virgin. She was a virgin of Syracuse in Sicily, noted for her love of the poor and for her virginity. What a wonderful handmaid of Our Lady during the octave of the Immaculate Conception!

The Gospel of the feast is imbued with the spirit of Advent. It offers three parables of Jerusalem, the kingdom of God. The kingdom is like a hidden treasure or a priceless pearl, for which we sell all that we own; the Church is like a net which catches all sorts of fish, which, at the second coming of Christ, the Advent at the end of time, are separated — the good from the bad. Our Advent preparation for the coming of Christ by grace at Christmas is a reminder of that final coming, or parousia when we shall remain in eternal possession of Christ in His kingdom.

The feast of St. Lucy is a beautiful one, especially for little girls. Somehow or other, despite his great kindness for the three girls, St. Nicholas seems to be of special interest to boys. Now the girls are not neglected in being offered such a wonderful model and patron as St. Lucy. In Sweden, Lucy's feast is the opening of the Christmas season, and is celebrated with gay singing and dancing. Lively children would really find folk dancing very vigorous and interesting at their parties. Games may abound, and the queen of the feast who is chosen each year to represent St. Lucy is crowned with a garland studded with several candles! Since little girls are supposed to take a particular fancy to kittens, a special recipe for the feast is to be found in "St. Lucy's cats." Yellow buns are shaped into the form of cats, having eyes of black raisins, and these are the specialty of the day. In Cooking for Christ, Mrs. Berger makes a rather interesting comment about her own experience in making St. Lucy's cats:

Since I was the one who wanted a cat in the first place, I bake Saint Lucy's cats and feel like an old witch. It was an ancient superstition, you know, that if you wanted to get rid of someone or something you told the witch. She would make an image or effigy of the hated one out of dough. After scorching him nicely in the bonfire, she would eat him and charge you a pretty penny. This is where our gingerbread men came from. (What a wonderful day to tell the children the story of Hansel and Gretel!)
If a party may be held on this day, it would be a real feast for the little girls of the classroom or family. A tableau could be presented with Our Lady as the center of attraction. She could be surrounded by the winter virgins, as well as many others, such as St. Catherine, St. Bibiana, St. Barbara, St. Anastasia, St. Prisca, St. Martina, and St. Scholastica. This is an excellent occasion for girls to learn about their own patron saints, and perhaps each girl could tell a story of her patron and the meaning of her name. This could be in the form of a tableau, or pantomime, or silhouette, or even a guessing game. After a prayer in honor of St. Lucy (taken from the Mass of her feast), the queen of the feast then distributes her cats, St. Cecilia sings a song, St. Catherine distributes taffy kisses as they do in French Canada. St. Agnes serves her lamb cakes, and St. Agatha is the good hostess and helpmate of her sister virgin St. Lucy. Lucy herself is the lady in waiting to whom Our Lady would have the children honor on her feast day.

Activity Source: True Christmas Spirit by Rev. Edward J. Sutfin, Grail Publications, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1955

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