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Christmas A to Z

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.

The Miraculous Santa Lucia (Or Saint Lucy)

S

he was a real person, to whom miraculous things were attributed while she lived, and afterward. She lived in Italy during the third century and became a devout Christian when, praying all night with her mother at the tomb of Saint Agnes to ask the Saint to cure her mother’s four year bout with dysentery, she was visited by a vision of the Saint who told her that she would be blessed. Immediately, her mother was cured.

Returning home Lucy told her mother that she would give her sizable dowry to charity and devote herself (and her body) to Christ. Her would-be bridegroom, seeing her dowry going to the poor instead of to him, denounced Lucy to the Romans. She was jailed and when her captors came to take her to burn at the stake she “was so full of the Heavenly Spirit” that they could not move her with 50 men and a team of horses. Instead, they brought the fire to her but she would not stop talking about her faith. One man ran his sword through her throat and she continued on as though nothing had happened.

Lucy’s fame soon spread as did miracles attributed to her. She is one of the few Catholic Saints who are worshipped by the Lutherans in Scandinavia – where she is portrayed with a crown of lighted candles, inspired by her name Lucia which shares its root with the Latin word lux or light.

Today in Scandinavia as well as elsewhere Saint Lucy Day is celebrated on December 13 when young girls wear long white dresses and crowns of (usually) electrified candles. The pass out sweets instead of the alms that Lucy distributed to the poor.

Written by Dianne Weller
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