Monday, December 14, 2009

Saint Lucia Day and Our Lady of Guadalupe

Bumped up from 2007

Yesterday was the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego.

"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything." — Our Lady to Juan Diego

She is the patron saint of the Americas and the protectress of the unborn.

Today is the feast day of Saint Lucy. This saint was both fascinating and frightening to me as a child. She is depicted with her eyes on a plate! Her father died when she was young leaving both her and her mother without a guardian. She lived during the time of Diocletian's bloody persecutions in the 4th century. She rejected an arranged marriage with a pagan bride groom choosing instead her faith in the Lord.

From wikipedia:

"Her rejected pagan bridegroom denounced Lucy as a Christian to the magistrate Paschasius, who ordered her to burn a sacrifice to the emperor's image. Lucy replied that she had given all that she had: "I offer to Him myself, let Him do with His offering as it pleases Him." Sentenced to be defiled in a brothel, Lucy asserted:

No one's body is polluted so as to endanger the soul if it has not pleased the mind. If you were to lift my hand to your idol and so make me offer against my will, I would still be guiltless in the sight of the true God, who judges according to the will and knows all things. If now, against my will, you cause me to be polluted, a twofold purity will be gloriously imputed to me. You cannot bend my will to your purpose; whatever you do to my body, that cannot happen to me.

The Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away they found her so filled with the Holy Spirit that she was stiff and heavy as a mountain; they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Even with a dagger through her throat she prophesied against her persecutor. As final torture, her eyes were gouged out. She was miraculously still able to see without her eyes. In paintings and statues, St. Lucy is frequently shown holding her eye on a golden plate."

She is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, Anglican Churches.

In Scandinavian, Saint Lucy is Saint Lucia, and today is St. Lucia Day. In high school, I had a very good friend who was Swedish, and we were often invited to their St. Lucia Day celebrations. By tradition, the eldest daughter brings coffee and St. Lucia buns to her parents, while wearing a candle-wreath and singing a Lucia song. Other daughters may help, dressed in the same kind of white robe and carrying a candle in one hand, but only the oldest daughter wears the candle-wreath.

Free St. Lucy printable for various age groups. I made a copy of the one for younger children today. My son really enjoyed it. 

St. Lucia paper doll.

Mica, a fellow homeschooler has a delicious recipe for Swedish cookies. She is also up for Best New Homeschool blog. Do check out her interesting blog which is a treat for the eyes, mind and spirit. Update: Mica and her family celebrated St. Lucia Day with their daughter. She has the recipe for the traditional buns as well. Great pictures! We hope to do the same when our daughter is old enough.


elena maria vidal said...

Wonderful post on two such beautiful feasts!

Mica Garbarino said...

thank you for that sweet dedication . I enjoy your blog as well and wanted you to know I also voted for you !!! See ya later !!! Mica

P.s The celebrations are turning out so lovely too !!!! You will have a blast with it when your little girl is older !!!

Lola said...

I just love this entry!

St. Lucia's customs might be Swedish in 'orgin' but, like St. Pat's, it could turn into a world custom. (It's so lovely!)