Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Saint Lucy's Day

Santa Lucia

Night treads with heavy step, Round yard and hearth
Woods brood in darkness now, Sun's gone from earth
But through the darkness comes, With brightness glowing,
Saint of the heavenly light, Our Savior showing

Maiden so sweet and fair, Bright candles in your hair,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Child of the holy light, Banish the dark of night,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Night now goes great and mute, Silence rules all things
What is that murmuring, As of angel's wings
There on our threshold, White robed and shinning
Comes she with bread to spare, Our need divining 

Darkness shall soon depart, From vale and mountain
She brings good news to us, Light like a fountain
Soon day shall rise anew, Day-star is coming
In Skies of rosy hue, Salvation dawning 

Saint Lucy lived a very long time ago in the early days of the church during the reign of the cruel Roman emperor, Diocletian  She was born in Syracuse, Italy to a very wealthy family. Her mother, Eutychia, was a Christian and she taught Lucy to love Jesus and care for other people especially the poor.
During those days it was illegal to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Christians would meet secretly in the underground catacombs to worship God. Lucy loved Jesus, and so she would bring food to the Christians who were hiding. She used to wear candles on her head to light her way and keep her hands free to carry her gifts. 

When Lucy was still a young girl, her mother became very sick. Lucy prayed day and night that God would heal her and save her life. She promised that if God would answer her prayer, she would dedicate her whole life to serving him as a nun. God answered her prayer and her mother recovered from her illness. 

There was only one problem. Lucy’s father had already promised her hand in marriage to a rich young man from a very powerful family. Lucy did not want to marry him, because he was not a Christian, besides she already promised God that she would remain a virgin for him. The young man was enraged that Lucy rejected him, and made trouble for her by exposing her as a Christian.
Lucy was arrested and thrown into jail. They threatened to kill her if she didn’t renounce her faith in Jesus. God gave her the courage to stand firm, and she became a Martyr for Christ. When she refused to give up her faith, she was put to death. 
Advent is the time in our year that we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ our heavenly bridegroom. Jesus told a story about ten virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom at a wedding. Five virgins were foolish and took no oil for their lamps. But the other five were wise and kept their lights burning bright when the bridegroom finally arrived. As a wise virgin, Lucy is a symbol for the Church ready for the coming of Christ.
Lucy’s name means, “light.” During a time of great darkness her life shown bright with holiness. Let our lives also be a light in the darkness, a beacon of Christ to the world. May we be ready for him when he comes!
Let us pray,
Loving God, for the salvation of all you gave Jesus Christ as light to a world in darkness: Illumine us, with your daughter Lucy, with the light of Christ, that by the merits of his passion we may be led to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.