December - St Lucy
Winter is here, the darkness has come, but the darkness will not win. St Lucy’s day is the shortest day of the year, the darkness doesn’t seem to lift, but it also marks the beginning of the end. From now on light will win, winter and darkness will lessen each day until spring has begun. St Lucy, saint of light is our December saint of the month.
St Lucy was born around 283AD in Sicily. She was born to a wealthy, noble family who were delighted to have a beautiful new baby girl. Lucy was good and kind, but mostly Lucy was loving. She loved light and the beauty of creation, because she knew they came from God and returned to God and that God made them all.
When Lucy was only 5 years old her dear papa died and left Lucy and her Mother to mourn him. They prayed for him and missed him but they knew he was now in eternal happiness so they could not be too sad.
Lucy thought of her dear Papa in heaven with all the angels and she longed to be with him in the heavenly city. She longed to be with Jesus. So one day she secretly left her lovely home and went down the road to the underground church in the city. The church was underground and hidden because at that time it was a crime to be Christian, but Lucy did not care or think about what might happen to her if she was found, she loved Jesus too much to stop being a Christian.
She went into the church and knelt before the altar. “Oh Jesus” she said “I wish to be with you in heaven. I love you so much, I will make a vow to you here and now that I will have no one and nothing on this earth beside you. I will be your bride forever, yours and yours alone.”
Mean while her Mother was at home worrying, her mother had been sick lately and she feared that she was going to die. ‘Who would look after Lucy’ she thought. She went to see a friend and asked him if he would be happy to allow his son to marry Lucy. When Lucy found out what her mother had been planning she was sad, her mother had not known of her vow to God to be only His bride.
She could not and would not be the bride of another and especially not this friend’s son, because he was a pagan and did not believe in the one true God. Lucy persuaded her mother to go on pilgrimage to St Agatha’s shrine “maybe she will cure you and make you all better” Lucy told her mother. So they went to the shine and knelt down beside St Agatha’s tomb. Lucy prayed and asked St Agatha to heal her mother. As if in a dream St Agatha came down from heaven and stood next to her.
Lucy was the only one who could see her, St Agatha calmed Lucy “my child, your mother will be well, God has heard your prayer. As for you, you will be the glory of all Sicily, as I am the glory of all Catania!”
Then St Agatha disappeared and Lucy found herself alone with her mother. At that very moment her mother was cured “I am well Lucy” her mother cried “I know Mother” Lucy replied “and now, since you are well, don’t you think it would be fitting to give your money to the poor?” Her mother looked at her unbelievingly and said “what?” “Well” continued Lucy, “if you were to die, you wouldn’t be able to take your money with you, and now, since Jesus through the intercession of St Agatha has cured you and made you better, don’t you think you should live as if today was your last day?” So with the help of Lucy, her mother began to give all her riches away.
When Lucy’s betrothed heard this he was outraged. All that money, which at their marriage would have been his, had been given to the poor. He went to the Governor of Sicily and denounced Lucy as a Christian.
The Governor sent for Lucy and told her to kneel down and worship an idol. Lucy stood firm “I will not, this is no god, there is only one God and I will worship Him and no other.”
When the guards tried to pick her up and carry her away they found that she had miraculously became as heavy as a house and they could not move her, even when they brought in the oxen to tow her away.
“We will build a fire around her” said the Governor. They brought in branches and wood and stacked it high around her and then set it alight. Lucy smiled contently and continued to pray to God. The fire did not burn her, the flames did not touch her, and Jesus protected His bride.
The Governor was fuming and said to one of the soldiers “don’t just stand there, do something!” So the soldier pulled out his sword and struck her in the chest. At that moment St Agatha and a flight of angels bore her away to Jesus in heaven, where she had always wished to be. “You are here, my bride” Jesus spoke to her. “You bore witness to your love for me and so I bear witness to my love for you. Come live in my heavenly city.”
And that is where St Lucy is now, in heaven, surrounded by the great light of love. Pray to her that you may be as brave as she was in your love for Jesus. St Lucy loved the beauty of light and was a light in the darkness of this world, shining as an example for us all, we pray through her intercession, that she may help us to be a light in our world today.