Thursday, December 11, 2014

St. Lucy's feast day approaches - should we have Anne wear a crown of lit candles?! #CouldBeDangerous...

Happy Thursday everyone, and I hope that you are well. :) I absolutely love the feast days during Advent, and a fairly new one to my radar screen is coming up on Saturday December, 13th: the feast of St. Lucy. I thought we could talk about St. Lucy a bit and plot about how to work her feast day into a fun family activity/ domestic monastery thing. :)

Henry is the one who really drew my attention to St. Lucy. He and I read a saint story of some sort each night before bed (we have an entire library of books to pull from). And during the course of these readings last year, St. Lucy made an appearance. What with all of the dramatic eye gougings and blazing fires, the story captured Henry's imagination.

"Wow. Did that really happen to her, Mommy? How was she able to do that?"

*very big eyes*

Since then, he's always been fond of St. Lucy. Last year, I bought the book that you see above, Lucia: Saint of Light to read to the kids on her feast day. Henry read it, but Anne wasn't too interested in longer stories just yet. Plus, it really is written for slightly older children, I would say the 7-8 year range. But the pictures are intriguing, so we'll see how it goes this year.

I'd like to make St. Lucy's feast an annual celebration in our house. Thus, I decided to do some additional research this year. Who exactly was St. Lucy, you ask? Lucy was an early virgin martyr (there's that word again! :0 I always substitute "unmarried" when reading these stories to the kids ;-)) who actually appears in the canon of the Mass in Eucharistic Prayer I. Hence, the Church obviously finds her a pretty important example of courage in faith. Part of her story involves Lucy convincing her mother to seek the intercession of St. Agatha for the cure to a bleeding problem she was experiencing. The two women traveled to St. Agatha's tomb, and while there, Lucy had a vision of Agatha and her mother was cured. Subsequently, Lucy took a vow of virginity and gave her money and belongings away to the poor. When she rebuffed a smarmy suitor wanting to marry her, she was targeted as being a Christian, tried, convicted, and martyred. Unfortunately, we have the torture sequence referenced above. :-\

Traditional activities on the feast of St. Lucy involve the youngest daughter in the family wearing a crown (symbolizing martyrdom, and Lucy's status as a bride of Christ, I'm thinking) of lit candles. Her name means "light," so that's part of it, but it may also have to do with her feast falling during Advent, when we expectantly await the light of Christ. This is all very lovely, but obviously a trifle dangerous.  Especially considering our contender for the crown:

I'm not thinking this is a good idea. :0 I may try to find some crafty materials around the house to make a ribbony crown for her, we'll see. But no candles, please. The other thing that is popular on the feast of St. Lucy is serving coffee and sweet rolls that morning. I have no idea what this has to do with young Lucy herself, but this is the custom. I found a recipe here for an appropriate sweet bread for those brave souls wanting to bake. I absolutely love the idea of placing lit candles on the bread, perfect and symbolic compromise! I was all gung ho, but then I saw "active, dry yeast" on the list of ingredients. I have no notion of how one acquires yeast at all, let alone yeast that is all active :0 so I'm not sure if we'll be doing this or not. Maybe I could stop at the grocery store on my way home for some pre-baked "St. Lucy bread." Or at least, that's what I'll call it. ;-)

But I'd like to make the day notable for the kids. There are some other great St. Lucy day ideas over at this blog, if you feel ambitious.

How about you, dear reader? Doing anything special for the feast of St. Lucy?


  1. Annamarie's middle name is Lucia, so I feel like we should celebrate... I wonder if those twisted cinnamon donuts would count? ;) I know my donut loving self and daughter would love that...

  2. Yeast is found in the baking aisle. It looks like granules when it's dry. You can buy it in a jar or in small packets. The main three dry varieties are: bread, active, and very active. You use it typically to bake breads, but there are recipes that involve baking soda or baking powder (which are two different things) for desert type breads.

    If you're not ambitious, buy a can of cinnamon rolls. Unroll each of them and then braid the strips together forming a crown shape. Bake following the instructions on the can. Frost. Done.

    I may have to pay you a visit. I'll teach you the ins and outs of baking and you teach me to knit. :)

    1. Girl, you are a genius! Pillsbury cinnamon rolls coming right up!

    2. Well I can't take credit for the idea. I think I read it on Catholic Icing (or somewhere else).

  3. There seems to be LED candles in all sizes these days...


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