Tuesday, December 14

Lessons from the saints - Saint Lucy

Saint Lucy is part of the cycle of early virgin-martyrs, girls who had converted to Christianity and preferred to be tortured/martyred in some pretty spectacular ways than go follow societal convention and have an arranged marriage to some heathen.

In Lucy's case, she denounced her 'pagan' bridegroom, who then ratted her out as a Christian to the authorities.  She was sentenced to forced prostitution, but was unmovable (even with a team of oxen).  At that point, she was tortured, including her eyes being gouged out and was martyred twice (attempted burning, which failed, and beheaded).

Associated with her is the legend that she worked with christians in the roman catacombs, wearing a wreath of candles so she could use both hands to help others.  Every year, the feast of St. Lucy is celebrated by scandanavian countries (as well as other, mostly european nations) on what used to be the solstice, as the humble lady of light (Lucy = Lucia = Lux = light) would defeat the darkness.

As neat as all that is, here is the crux of the matter.  We are in the midst of advent, awaiting the Christ, in the darkest time of the year.  For so many, there is financial uncertainty, personal angst and general gloom surrounding us (Seasonal Affective Disorder, anyone?) and it appears that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, only forever night.  Lucia serves as a harbinger of Christ's birth and reminds us that one candle is enough to keep the darkness at bay and when we cannot see the way ourselves, do not abandon hope and trust in God.

Saint Lucy, show us the way to Christmas.  Remind us that Christ is the light of the world and that the Holy Spirit will guide us through the labyrinth that is our world, seeing what we cannot, if we but ask for His light and Her guidance.  Santa Lucia, bring us light in those dark places. 

PS: I feel a fool.  Saint Lucy is one of my more favorite female saints and I have been so out of sorts that I TOTALLY missed her feast day, which was yesterday.  It is rather apt that I ask for her help as I have been in my own dark places as of late, fumbling about with so little success.

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