Monday, December 14, 2009

Saint Lucia

Monday after Advent 3
December 14, 2009

The Lord be with you

Yesterday was the Commemoration of Saint Lucia, Martyr. She was one of the victims of the great persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor Diocletian. Lucia met her death at Syracuse on the island of Sicily in 304 AD. Known for her charity, "Santa Lucia" (as she is called in Italy) gave away her dowry and remained a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucia means "light," and, because of that, festivals of light commemorating her became popular throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. There her feast day corresponds with the time of year when there is the least amount of daylight. In artistic expression, Lucia is often portrayed in a white baptismal gown, wearing a wreath of candles on her head, and holding a dish with eyes in them. The eyes represent the legend that her eyes were gouged out before she was executed. If she is wearing a red sash, that represents her martyrdom. She is also called Saint Lucy. Finally, when her day is celebrated in Scandinavian countries, the eldest daughter dresses in white (the baptismal gown) with a crown of candles (she trusted in Christ, the Light of the world).

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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