Feast Day of St. Lucia | Naming the Days


St. Lucia of Syracuse (283–304) was a martyr, revered within the Center Ages and nonetheless honored at this time in lots of nations for her braveness in secretly bringing meals to Christians who had been hiding in catacombs beneath Rome to flee persecution. Legend tells us that she wore a crown of candles to mild her means in order that her palms had been free to hold these items. Her title, appropriately, means “mild.”

Earlier than calendar reforms, her feast fell on the shortest day of the yr, the Winter Solstice. Even now, in Sweden and Norway, St. Lucia’s Day (or St. Lucy’s Day) honors the turning tide of winter and the return of the sunshine. Historically, a younger lady in a white robe with pink sash and a crown of lingonberry twigs and blazing candles wakens her household with saffron rolls and low.

Regardless of their lengthy, darkish winters, Norwegian and Swedish individuals are a number of the happiest on the earth. Norway ranks 4th out of 157 nations in a 2016 examine that appears on the well-being of populations; Sweden ranks 10th. To be taught extra about this examine, click on right here.


No phrases of St. Lucia’s have come right down to us by means of the centuries, however we do have famend British poet John Donne’s Seventeenth-century poem, “A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day.” Students debate whether or not the poem refers to his beloved spouse Anne (who died at age 33) or is a basic lament, however both means you may hear each acceptance and longing in the previous couple of traces:

“Since she enjoys her lengthy evening’s competition,
Let me put together in the direction of her, and let me name
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Each the yr’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.”

You may learn the entire poem right here.

Religious Practices

One solution to strategy your individual deep midnight is thru the humanities: poetry, music, portray, sculpture, collage, or no matter different type strikes you. As you take into account merely how one can abide gracefully all through a protracted winter or as you face your grief, what type can you utilize to precise your emotions? Choose no matter is most pure to you, and let your artwork mirror the non-public which means you discover in “the yr’s, and the day’s deep midnight.”


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