Old Calendar: St. Lucy
St. Lucy (283-304) was born in Syracuse, Sicily, where she also died. She was of a noble Greek family, and was brought up as a Christian by her mother, who was miraculously cured at the shrine of St. Agatha in Catania. Lucy made a vow of virginity and distributed her wealth to the poor. This generosity stirred the wrath of the unworthy youth to whom she had been unwillingly betrothed and who denounced her to Paschasius, the governor of Sicily. When it was decided to violate her virginity in a place of shame, Lucy, with the help of the Holy Spirit, stood immovable. A fire was then built around her, but again God protected her. She was finally put to death by the sword. Her name appears in the second list in the Canon.Jesse Tree ~ Annunciation
Today's feast can easily be harmonized with Advent themes. The very name Lucy pulsates with light, a living symbol amid the season's darkness (the days are now the shortest of the year). As a wise virgin Lucy advances with a burning lamp to meet the Bridegroom. She typifies the Church and the soul now preparing their bridal robes for a Christmas marriage.
Often Portrayed As: Woman hitched to a yoke of oxen; woman in the company of Saint Agatha, Saint Agnes of Rome, Barbara, Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Thecla; woman kneeling before the tomb of Saint Agatha.Things to Do:
- Choose one of the customs for St. Lucy's feast and try it with your family. See Celebrating for the Feast of St. Lucy, Swedish Lucia Feast, and St. Lucia Devotions.
- Select one of the recipes for this feast to prepare. Here is a recipe for cuccia, an Italian dish. This is another version.
- Say a prayer to St. Lucy for those who are physically and spiritually blind.
- Read the Life of St. Lucy taken from Ælfric’s Lives of the Saints written in the 10th century.
- For St. Lucia Swedish resources, see Hemslöjd. Especially recommended are the St. Lucia's Crowns, either plastic to wear or brass for display, the books Lucia, Child of Light: The History and Traditions of Sweden's Lucia Celebration and Lucia Morning in Sweden.