Friday, December 11, 2020

A Sicilian Saint Inspires A Festival Of Lights In Sweden

This has been posted previously at this time of the year. 

It's believed that the story of Saint Lucy was brought to Sweden by monks. This would be similar to the story they told:

Saint Lucy was a Sicilian woman who was martyred in the year 304 AD. A common story suggests that she would secretly bring food to persecuted Christians who lived in the catacombs of Rome and, in order to keep her hands free, she wore a crown of candles on her head. 

Another legend tells us that she consecrated her virginity to God through pious works. After she refused to marry her betrothed, a pagan man, he became infuriated and reported her to the authorities. When guards came to arrest her, she was so filled with the Holy Spirit that they couldn't move her, even with a team of oxen. The guards then gathered materials around her and set them on fire, but she didn't burn. In medieval accounts, Saint Lucy's eyes are gouged prior to her execution and she is often depicted in art carrying her eyes on a tray.

Saint Lucy, by Domenico Beccafumi, in a 1521 recasting of an iconic Gothic image. It was said that Saint Lucy was tortured with eye gouging, hence this rather disturbing image. The picture, as well as some of the history of Saint Lucy, are courtesy Wikipedia. 

Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the blind. Her name is derived from Lux, Latin for light, and she is presented with light in art and literature.  Saint Lucy is one of only seven women, aside from the Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass

Beginning in the 19th century, she became celebrated on December 13th as Sankta Lucia in Sweden. 

I will tell that story -- one most of you have read many times over the years -- on Sunday, the 13th of December.



  1. Hi Inger - I'd forgotten she was the patron saint for the blind ... and such an interesting uplifting story. Thanks for reminding us ... take care - all the best - Hilary

  2. this is a pretty grim story.. but then the medevial times were grim, i am afraid we are heading that way now, back to the grim side of humans

  3. She definitely deserves sainthood. How dreadfully she was treated but her faith never failed.

  4. Thanks for sharing this story again,Inger. I love reading the lives of the saints.

    I agree with Sandra, it looks like humanity has become as barbaric as in the medieval time. The prophetic words of Our Lady of Good Success who appeared to mother Mariana in Quito, Equador over 400 years ago are coming true today. She prophesied that by the beginning of the 21st century, the world would be corrupted by means of the Masonic sects and when everything looks hopeless, that she would dethrone Satan and throw him in the abyss. The world sure needs to repent and turn from their evil ways.
    Stay safe and well.
    Hugs, Julia

  5. Hello,
    It is grim story of Saint Lucy! She did so much good to help others.
    Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your day!

  6. so many of the saints stories are gruesome.

  7. I hope Lucy is remembered for all the good she did, and to be a Saint, maybe that was meant to be her title forever.Looking forward to Sunday's story. We have rain, there is snow in the South Island, and it is cool for December.

  8. What a disturbing and sorrowful tale!! I knew about saint Lucia, and her hat of lights, but not these details.

  9. Many thanks for sharing this story, one I didn't know.

    All the best Jan

  10. Pretty gruesome story of saint Lucy, one I hadn't heard before. She had great faith.

  11. I knew about her eyes being gouged out and not burning, but I didn't know the beginning of the story. Thanks.


  12. as a girl of 17 in our short stay in Minnesota... my best friend that year was our Swedish exchange student. her name(s) fascinated me as did all the things she talked about.
    her name was Anna Margareta Christina Sjoberg. but she chose Margareta.
    on St Lucia's Day she and I visited my parents and her guest/exchange parents by dressing in long white gowns and delivering hot sweet buns! she had the wreath of candles (battery operated) on her head and her long blonde hair was down.
    I followed her looking like a small proud elf. lol. I had short hair and no crown.
    but I carried the buns.
    it is good to know the real story of St Lucia. bless her. to endure such suffering.
    it humbles me even now. the dark ages were indeed dark.
    thank you for sharing this. xo

    1. You were the elf, also an important part of Swedish folklore. I love this post, thank you so much for sharing.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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