Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.
Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, Fourth Century
Lucy is an early saint whose name has proved to be very popular over the centuries. Her name is mentioned in the canon of the Mass and many places throughout the world have been named after her.
What is known about Lucy is that she lived in Sicily in the early fourth century, the daughter of noble and wealthy parents. Lucy chose to remain a virgin and wished to give the fortune that she inherited to the poor. She was denounced as a Christian by a disappointed suitor during the Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. According to tradition, Lucy survived several attempts to execute her, but finally died after being stabbed through the throat.
Lucy’s name means light. There is a saying associated with her name and feast day which goes: “Lucy-light, Lucy-light / the shortest day and the longest night.” She has developed a strong following in Scandinavia where her day is a cause for special celebration. Santa Lucia (St. Lucy) is often portrayed with a wreath of candles on her head.
Perhaps because her name means light, St. Lucy has been invoked by those with eye troubles since the middle ages. She is also the patroness of writers. A memorial celebrates this saint’s life on December 13.
Lucy’s message today: Each of us, no matter what our talents may be, can bring light to others through the way we live our lives. As Christians, we have a directive from Jesus, who said: “You are the light of the world. No one after lighting lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lamp stand and it gives light to all in the house” (Mt 5:14-15).