/St Lucia

St Lucia

Celebrating St Lucia’s Day on December 13 is traditional in the Nordic countries, particularly among Swedish-speakers and, increasingly, among Finnish speakers. Like many annual celebrations, it has its roots in the Catholic Calendar of Saints.
St Lucia (or St Lucy) is venerated as a bringer of light, in part due to her legend and in part because her day is celebrated during the darkest time of the year. Lucia died c. 304 AD, during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
According to legend, Lucia was a Christian girl in Sicily, whose betrothed – the man her mother had arranged for her to marry – betrayed her to the Romans after learning that she was distributing her riches to the poor. When she refused to burn a sacrifice to the Roman Emperor she was sentenced to work in a brothel but that and death by fire both miraculously failed and, finally, Lucia was executed by sword.
Another legend has it that a young man fell in love with Lucia and often praised her beautiful eyes. Lucia, however, did not want his attentions and finally gouged out her own eyes and sent them to him. The man was so shocked he converted to Christianity. Lucy was, among other things, made patron saint of the blind and visually impaired.