St. Lucy

St. Lucy

St. Lucy (+ 304).  Suffered martyrdom at Syracuse, probably in the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.  Her name in mentioned in the first Mass Canon of the Church (Canon 1).  Tradition states that when her suitor (whom she had rejected!) accused her to the authorities, the judge ordered her to be violated in a brothel where she remained miraculously immovable.  He then tried to have her burned, equally unsuccessfully, so she was put to the sword.  Her eyes were reputedly torn out, but miraculously restored.  In Sweden, on this, the shortest day of the year, her feast has become a festival of light where the youngest daughter of the family, dressed in white, wakes the rest of the family with coffee, rolls and a special song, while in Sicily, “Santa Lucia” remains popular.

Picture: Lucy Before the Judge, by Lorenzo Lotto, 1523–32

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