the feast day of st. lucia is december 13. and, as it turns out, st. lucia is certainly worth celebrating.
lucy was a christian martyr during the diocletian persecution. after converting to christianity and consecrating herself to god, she refused to marry a pagan to whom she was betrothed, and gave away her wedding dowry to the poor. her former fiancé denounced her to the magistrates, who pledged to burn her alive. miraculously, when the guards came to take lucy away, she was so filled with the holy spirit that she was as stiff and heavy as a mountain. they tried hitching her to oxen, but still she would not be moved. they tried torturing her in other ways until finally they gouged her eyes out with a fork. in some stories, lucy grabbed her eyeballs and put them back in. bold and immovable in her convictions, lucy, whose name means light, became the patron saint of the blind.
in scandinavia, the feast day of st. lucia marks the beginning of the christmas season. it is often celebrated by the youngest girl in a household dressing in a white dress, placing a pine bough wreath with candles on her head, and bringing breakfast in bed to all in the house. since my ancestors come from scandinavia, my family started this tradition when i was young (thanks in part, i admit, to the story of the american girl doll kristen). i didn’t realize the incredible story of st. lucia until this year, when i suggested to brittany that we have a little breakfast-for-dinner party on december 13. now i believe there’s so much more reason to celebrate that mid-december, pre-christmas day – to think about being steadfast in our commitment to christianity at this special time of year.
so, we invited a few girls over for aebleskivers (dutch pancakes), bacon, oranges and hot coco on december 13. i wore a white dress and pine boughs on my head, and brittany told the story of st. lucy to our friends. we ate by candlelight and twinkle light and it was enchanting!