Monday, December 13, 2010

Memorial of St. Lucy: A Day of Celebration


Today is the memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr. Lucy was born of noble Greek parents in Syracuse, Sicily about the year 283. She made a vow of virginity and distributed her wealth to the poor. This generosity angered the 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 executed by a sword.

As the name, Lucy, derives from 'lux' or 'light', she has become associated with festivals of light and with invocations against afflictions of the sight. Legend has it that she was blinded by her persecutors. The church of San Giovanni Maggiore at Naples even claims to possess her eyes.

Patronage

against hemorrhages; authors; blind people; blindness; cutlers; dysentery; eye disease; eye problems; glaziers; hemorrhages; laborers; martyrs; peasants; Perugia, Italy; saddlers; salesmen; stained glass workers; Syracuse, Sicily; throat infections; writers.

Prayer

Saint Lucy, your beautiful name signifies light. By the light of faith which God bestowed upon you, increase and preserve this light in my soul so that I may avoid evil, be zealous in the performance of good works, and abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and of sin. By your intercession with God, obtain for me perfect vision for my bodily eyes and the grace to use them for God's greater honor and glory and the salvation of all men. Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. Amen.

Reflection




Customs

December 13th is St. Lucy Day, or Lucia, in Sweden.  Lucia morning is celebrated in practically every Swedish home, and every community, office, school or club chooses a Lucia, who - dressed in a white gown and with a crown of candles in her hair - brings a tray of coffee, traditionally shaped saffron rolls, and ginger biscuits. Lucia sometimes serves glögg, a mulled wine. She is generally accompanied by a train of white-clad attendants, the girls wearing glitter in their hair and the boys wearing tall paper cones with stars on them. All sing the traditional Lucia carols.


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