Saint Lucy's Day

posted 13 Dec 2013, 02:33 by
Saint Lucy, a virgin martyr from the 3rd Century, is venerated on the 13th December most commonly in Italy and Scandinavia. After refusing to give up her virginity in marriage, her husband-to-be denounced her and she was sentenced to be defiled in a brothel. According to tradition the soldiers and oxen couldn't move her so they piled up wood around her and tried to execute her by burning. She did not burn so was eventually killed by the sword only after having the sacraments administered.

In services in Scandinavia, to venerate Saint Lucy, a girl is elected to portray Lucia. Wearing a white gown with a red sash (the symbol of martrydom) and a crown of candles on her head she walks at the head of a procession of women, all of whom are holding a candle. The candle symbolises the fire that refused to take Saint Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned.

God our redeemer,
who gave light to the world that was in darkness
by the healing power of the Saviour's cross:
shed that light on us, we pray,
that with your martyr Lucy
we may, by the purity of our lives,
reflect the light of Christ
and, by the merits of his passion,
come to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.