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Who is Saint Lucy, and why is she celebrated in December?

Saint Lucy is a valid point of reference in the tradition that precedes Christmas in many areas of America. Her feast is on December 13. And she anticipates the light and warmth that envelops our hearts on the day of Holy Christmas. Few people know Saint Claus and the Befana are not the only ones to bring gifts to the best children. Saint Lucy also has this vital role, lighting the hopes of the little ones.

Today we want to take you to discover Saint Lucy’s history and origins. And the path that led her to be one of the most loved saints. Saint Lucy seems to have Sicilian roots, and the available sources tell us about her head from Syracuse. Of which she is the patron saint. Not many details are known about her life. But she is remembered as a virgin martyr after Christ’s first centuries.

Who is Saint Lucy?

A kind of early Christmas. December 13 is the day Saint Lucy is celebrated, the martyr on this date in the year 304 d. C. died as a result of the persecution of Diocletian. So, the legend is that her young woman, originally from Syracuse, joined a pilgrimage to the tomb of Sant’Agata. To pray for her sick mother, Eutichia, along with the latter. So she reached the grave, fell asleep, and Saint Agatha appeared to her in a dream.

Saint Lucy is a virgin martyr who was born in 0283 AD. She was the daughter of a Roman nobleman:  since childhood, she showed her profound adherence to Christianity. She was manifesting the intention to dedicate her life to the Lord. Lucy’s mother, Eutichia, had been suffering from hemorrhages for many years. So much so that she had consumed vast sums of money to care for her. 

Indeed, upon awakening, Lucy found her mother healed and decided to consecrate her existence to her Christ: she donated her wealth to charity and refused her betrothed, who denounced her as a Christian. During the trial, Lucy professed her faith, and the magistrate had her dragged into a brothel. Her body became so heavy it was impossible to move. Then, it was decided to condemn her to the stake, but the flames did not scratch it. She was then beheaded, and before dying, she prophesied the end of Diocletian and peace for the Church.

Biography of Saint Lucy

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Representation of Saint Lucy

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Source: Saints Resource

When is St. Lucy’s Day?

Since it is celebrated during Advent, Lucy’s day is also seen with anticipation of Christmas. Which then culminates on December 25th. Therefore, the celebrations in honor of the Saint include many traditions worldwide. In Mexico, above all, it is one of the most popular festivals and is accompanied by lots of good food. Please make yourself comfortable and follow us to discover everything there is to know about Lucy and its feast on December 13th.

When December 13th arrives, Saint Lucy’s day arrives. It is a Christian holiday commemorating the martyr Lucy, who lived in the third century. According to legend, she brought “food and aid to the Christians who hid in the catacombs of Syracuse, “bringing a crown of candles with her. Saint Lucy is the protector of sight (there is a link between her name and the Latin “lux,” meaning “light.” The Feast of Saint Lucy coincided with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

The Feast of Saint Lucy celebration is attested for the first time in the Middle Ages and continued after the Protestant Reformation in the 1520s and 1530s. However, the festivities as we know them today are relatively recent because they are “only” about 200 years old.

How is Saint Lucy celebrated?

December 13 in the past coincided with the winter solstice before the reform of the Gregorian calendar. For this reason, even today, the saying ” Saint Lucy, the longest night there is ” is handed down. So, Lucy is a very beloved figure in the northern regions of America, especially for children. On the occasion of her feast, on the night between 12 and 13, the saint brings gifts and sweets to the homes of the best. So she leaves coal to the less good children, and to the children who try to stay awake to see her, she throws ash in her eyes.

The Catholic celebrations of the Feast of Lucy take place mainly on 13 December, and Saint Lucy is celebrated with parades and family dinners. 

This figure of Saint Lucy is also trendy in northern Europe. Therefore, in the Scandinavian peninsula, it is celebrated with processions, songs, and parades. In Sweden, the tradition is that the eldest daughter dresses up as Saint Lucy with a crown of candles to bring breakfast to her parents. The story of Saint Lucy is shrouded in mystery, and we don’t know much about her life and the vicissitudes she had to face before her martyrdom. Indeed, her life spent in the service of the neediest must be an example for us to follow and promote.

Story of Saint Lucy

The Story of Saint Lucy begins at the moment of her birth. She was born in 238 to a noble family in Syracuse. Lucy was only five years old. Her father orphaned her, and shortly after, her mother fell ill. Lucy convinced her mother to go on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Sant’Agata in Catania, and she appeared to her in a dream as her saint.

Lucy, from that moment, understood that her faith in her was so strong that she wanted to dedicate her life to Christ and those in need of her. Pascasio, her future betrothed to take revenge on her, denounced her to the emperor. Lucy of Syracuse was thus accused of witchcraft. She was burned at stake, and a fire was lit, but the flames did not touch her. They then killed her by cutting off her head.

After Lucy’s death, the cult began to spread, and Syracuse became the destination of many pilgrimages. In fact, according to tradition, the remains of Lucy’s body were buried in the same place where the martyrdom took place. Saint Lucy is revered above all as a protector of eye diseases. As tradition has it that the saint’s eyes were gouged out, even if there is no certainty about this fact. She is also considered the patron saint of electricians and stonemasons. She is also said to be a protector of all times, so if you want to always carry her with you, the following product will offer you divine protection from Saint Lucy.

On December 13, Saint Lucy was the celebrated patron saint of Syracuse and protector of the eyes, of the blind, of ophthalmologists, and also often invoked to protect against eye diseases.

Saint Lucy is traditionally considered the patron saint of sight and of all those who suffer from it, such as the blind, myopic, stigmatized, and all those with eye problems.

Saint Lucy is celebrated in several countries worldwide, not just in America. In many American regions, Saint Lucy has taken the place of Santa Claus for many children, so she distributes gifts, and the children get ready days in advance to wait for her. As per tradition, she will cross the valleys with her donkey in search of good children to give gifts to.

Primary Takeaways

  1. Therefore, stories and legends of the protector of sight are often represented with her eyes resting on a tray. Saint Lucy is celebrated in many countries of Northern Europe and some American regions: she brings gifts to children helped by a donkey.

  2. December 13, the shortest day of the year, is a holiday in many cities. Indeed, Saint Lucy is celebrated in many countries of Northern Europe, including Russia, Poland, Finland, and Denmark. So, in Sweden, for example, a girl is made to dress in white, with a crown of lighted candles on her head. And the crown is carried in a procession with other girls dressed in white and men dressed as elves, giving sweets to passers-by.

  3. In some centers in northern America, children write a letter to the woman a week before December 13, listing the gifts they would like to receive in Saint Lucy and not on Christmas Eve (in other regions, gifts arrive on the night between 5 and on December 6, and to carry them is St. Nicholas). A second tradition provides that on the evening of December 12, children prepare water for Lucy and hay for the donkey with which the saint travels to deliver the gifts.

Read also: Miracles of Jesus ✝️📖🙏🕊️ | What are the main miracles in the Bible?

saint lucy


In addition, Saint Lucy is a famous person who looked after the poor in the catacombs and used a noble family’s wealth at her disposal to help the needy. So, according to tradition, the symbol of the saint is candles and light. Since it seems she used to use a crown of lighted candles to have her hands free to put at the service of others. Therefore, her martyrdom as a Christian occurred under the persecution of Diocletian. It is thought that she was denounced by her betrothed. She was offended by the vow of consecration that the saint had made. A trial and prolonged tortures followed, which gave rise to numerous anecdotes.

It is said that the young woman suddenly became heavy when the executioners tried to move her by force. The flames that were to envelop and burn her did not touch her. And she, despite a spear from her piercing her throat, still managed to speak of her and proclaim her faith in God. Therefore, among the most famous episodes is the one in which Saint Lucy’s eyes were pulled out. So, this is why today, she is considered the patron saint of the blind.

Quizlet about Saint Lucy

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