Sunday, December 19, 2010

St Lucia's Day

St Lucia's day has always intrigued me. Photos of beautiful Scandinavian women with wreathes holding candles in celebration of St. Lucy, followed in procession by other women in white holding a single candle. The images are beautiful and so evocative.

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This exerpt from the website Phases of Womanhood gives a great description of St Lucia and the origins of the day.

"St. Lucia was born in Italy, a virgin-martyr from the early 4th century. She is the patron saint of Sicily and of eye ailments. She is typically depicted wearing a white robe and holding a palm branch. However, Swedish artists depict her with a crown of candles on her head. Legend has it that, years after her death, during a great famine in Syracuse, St. Lucia appeared on December 13th, which was then celebrated as the darkest night of the year and also happens to be the date of her martyrdrom. St. Lucia wore a crown of candles on her head to leave her hands free to carry baskets of bread for the starving peasants."

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Long time readers may know that the stories of the saints are one of my great loves. And this may be why I am so fascinated by this beautiful celebration. Perhaps next year we can have a St Lucia's day in our house.

6 comments:

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Very nice post. I too love to hear stories of the Saints. I should read up on them more.

Jen said...

This is such a fascinating subject! I can certainly understand why you love it and find it so intriguing!

sara said...

What a lovely tradition.

I just love how they always throw some random thing in for the saints to take care of, like eye ailments...huh? Cracks me up!

Claudia said...

i have heard about St. Lucia but not in details - i like the story and think it's a great tradition (and guess the little swedish girls love it..)

Jamie said...

What a great story. I've always wondered what was up with the girls with the wreaths of candles.

Myrna R. said...

That's sweet. I knew nothing about her before. Thanks.

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