Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
Click the Picture of St. Lucy and the Link below it.
FEAST OF SAINT LUCY (SANTA LUCIA)
The Eyes of St. Lucy
Lucy and Odilia: Two Saints for Sore Eyes [Catholic Caucus]
Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia)
Saint Lucy [Martyr]
Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
Memorial December 13th
Saint Lucy from the Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo (Milan, early 15th century, tempera, ink and gold leaf on parchment.) Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
Collect and Readings – Prayer to St Lucy – Story of St. Lucy–Sweden’s custom –Recipes for Celebration
May the glorious intercession
of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy
give us new heart, we pray, O Lord,
so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday
in this present age and so behold things eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God,for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:17 – 11:2
“Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.” For it is not the man who commends himself that is accepted, but the man whom the Lord commends. I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25: 1-13
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast
; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord , open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Prayer to Saint Lucy
Hear us, O God, our salvation, that, as we rejoice in keeping the festival of Blessed Lucy, thy virgin and martyr, so we may profit by the tender devotion we gain through her example. Through our Lord. Amen.
Story of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
According to the traditional story, she was born to rich and noble parents about 283. Her father died when she was young. Fifty-two years prior to Saint Lucy, Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr was executed. Saint Agatha’s fame attracted many visitors to her relics at Catania. Lucy and her mother, Eutychia, made the pilgrimage, where Eutychia was healed of a hemorrhage. Lucy persuaded Eutychia to distribute a great part of their riches among the poor. This angered the young man to whom she was betrothed. He reported her as a Christian. She was executed by with sword in the year 303. She was first condemned to suffer the shame of prostitution but in the strength of God she stood
unmovable and could not be dragged away to the place of shame. God also saved her from being set on fire. According to some stories, Saint Lucy’s eyes were plucked out during her torture and God miraculously restored her sight. Her feast day is celebrated especially in Sweden, where elements of light and sight, as well as the martyr’s crown, are combined in a beautiful family custom appropriate for Advent celebration.
The eldest daughter of the household, wearing a white dress with a sash of crimson and a crown of branches set with lighted candles, wakes all the members of the household and serves them special cake and coffee. While it may not be practical to light a crown of candles, the family can enjoy this custom of a special treat prepared by the eldest daughter of the family (with help from mother, if necessary). As a substitute for the flaming crown, the coffee cake can be prepared in the shape of a crown and set with candles.
Recipes for a Saint Lucy’s celebration
Recipes from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press (see links page).
Saint Lucy’s Crown
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sweet butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups flour
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4-5 tablespoons blanched almonds, grated or finely chopped
4-5 tablespoons chopped candied citron (optional)
Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze (see recipe below)
Tapers or thin candles (optional)
Crush the saffron to a fine powder, and steep it in a tablespoon or two of the lukewarm milk for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set the mixture aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until frothy.
Scald the remaining milk. Stir in the rest of the sugar, and the salt and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Let cool to lukewarm. Stir into the yeast mixture. Add the saffron milk and lightly beaten egg. Stir in the flour gradually, mixing well. Add the lemon rind, almonds, and citron, if you like.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. While you are kneading, add more flour if the dough is sticky.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down. Cut off one-third to make the top braid; set aside. Divide the remaining dough into three parts. Roll each part into a rope about 25 inches long. Place the three ropes close together on a buttered baking sheet and braid them together. (Try starting from the middle; you may find it easier.) Form the braid into a circle, pinching the ends to seal.
Divide the reserved dough into three parts. Roll each part into a rope about 24 inches long. Proceed as above: Place the three ropes close together on a buttered baking sheet and braid them together. Form the braid into a circle, pinching the ends to seal.
Cover both braids lightly and let the bread rise for 30-45 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk.
Bake at 400 degree F for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for about 40 minutes longer, or until the two braided rings are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Place the smaller braid on top of the larger.
Dizzle over it the Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze. Optional: Stick thin tapers into the crown and light them. There is no fixed number of tapers; why not put in one for each member of your family?
Yield 1 large double braided Saint Lucy’s Crown
You can elimate the saffron, and flavor the crown with 2 teaspoons ground cardamom; add it along with the salt. For a smaller crown, you can just halve this recipe; the baking time will be a little shorter.
Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice or milk or water
1/2-1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Stir the lemon juice into the confectioners’ sugar; mix well. Add more sugar or lemon juice as needed to produce a proper consistency for dizzling.
Swedish Saint Lucy Ginger Snaps (Luciapepperkakor)
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 1/2 cups dark or light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup heavy cream
6-7 cups flour
Icing (recipe below)
Heat the corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir in the sugar, molasses, ginger, lemon rind, and baking soda. In a large bowl, whip the cream until almost stiff.
Stir the syrup mixture gradually into the cream. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes (about twice as long if you are beating by hand with a spoon or whisk). Add 4 cups of the flour, mixing well with a spoon. Then gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, pliable dough. Knead for 2 or 3 minutes.
Wrap the dough well in well in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, you can start the chilling process in the freezer. Leave the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with fancy cutters, such as animals and people, heart and flowers. Try making some pretty young girls — perhaps with crowns — like Saint Lucy. If possible, do creche scenes or other Christmas motifs, such as stars and angels. (Even in our baking we can try to emphasize what matters about Christmas — the star, the baby, the angels singing — and play down Santa Claus and full stockings.)
Place the cookies on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
Ice when cold.
Yield: about 4 dozen cookies
Beat the white of an egg until frothy. Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (and, optional, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice). If the icing is too thick, add more lemon juice; too thin, more sugar. You can make several batches, adding food coloring as you wish. An even quicker icing is just a few drops of water mixed with confectioners’ sugar and food coloring.
Lucy and Odilia: Two Saints for Sore Eyes [Catholic Caucus]
Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia)
Information: St. Lucy
Feast Day: December 13
Born: 284, Syracuse
Died: 304, Syracuse
Major Shrine: San Geremia, Venice
Patron of: blind; martyrs; epidemics; salesmen, throat infections
Tuesday, December 13
Liturgical Color: Red
Today is the Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin
and martyr. St. Lucy was blinded as she
was tortured for her faith in 304 A.D. Her
eyesight was miraculously restored and
she is honored as the patron saint of
those with eye trouble.
Advent: December 13th
Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr
December 13, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)
May the glorious intercession of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy give us new heart, we pray, O Lord, so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday in this present age and so behold things eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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.
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.
That the famous Sicilian martyr really lived may be deduced from the great popular veneration accorded her since most ancient times. The Acts detailing her sufferings, however, merit little credence. According to these she made a pilgrimage to Catonia with her mother, who suffered from hemorrhage, to venerate the body of St. Agatha.
After praying devoutly at the tomb, Agatha appeared to her in a dream and consoled her: “O virgin Lucy, why do you ask of me what you yourself can procure for your mother? For your faith too has come to her aid and therefore she has been cured. By your virginity you have indeed prepared for God a lovely dwelling.” And her mother actually was healed.
Immediately Lucy asked permission to remain a virgin and to distribute her future dowry among Christ’s poor. Child and mother returned to their native city of Syracuse, and Lucy proceeded to distribute the full proceeds from the sale of her property among the poor. When a young man, to whom Lucy’s parents had promised the virgin’s hand against her will, had heard of the development, he reported her to the city prefect as a Christian.
“Your words will be silenced,” the prefect said to her, “when the storm of blows falls upon you!” The virgin: “To God’s servants the right words will not be wanting, for the Holy Spirit speaks in us.” “Yes,” she continued, “all who live piously and chastely are temples of the Holy Spirit.”
“Then,” he replied, “I shall order you put with prostitutes and the Holy Spirit will depart from you.” Lucy: “If I am dishonored against my will, my chastity will secure for me a double crown of victory.”
Aflame with anger, the judge imposed the threatened order. But God made the virgin solidly firm in her place and no force could move her. “With such might did the Holy Spirit hold her firm that the virgin of Christ remained immovable.”
Thereupon they poured heated pitch and resin over her: “I have begged my Lord Jesus Christ that this fire have no power over me. And in testimony of Him I have asked a postponement of my death.”
When she had endured all this without the least injury, they pierced her throat with a sword. Thus she victoriously ended her martyrdom.
—Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.
Patron: against hemorraghes; authors; blind people; blindness; cutlers; dysentery; eye disease; eye problems; glaziers; hemorraghes; laborers; martyrs; peasants; Perugia, Italy; saddlers; salesmen; stained glass workers; Syracuse, Sicily; throat infections; writers.
Symbols: Lamp; dagger; three crowns; cauldron; two oxen; stake and fagots; cup; sword through his neck; poniard; ropes; eye held in pincers; awl; cord; eyes on a dish or book; swords.
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.
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.