No, I’m not talking about the island in the Caribbean, although, that does sound nice this time of year.
Instead, I speak of St. Lucy or Saint Lucia. The history of her story, the evidence behind it, and how the celebration came to be is a little confusing with several different versions. Here’s the basic one I walked away with:
This patron Saint could not be killed by the Roman army when they wanted her to deny her faith, but the thing she’s most remembered for is bringing food to the poor and/or Christians hiding from the fourth-century Roman Emperor.
Because they were hiding underneath the city, she made a wreath of candles and placed them on her head to light her way while carrying food. Saffron buns, apparently, is the food she’s remembered for as well.
Ceremonies and festivals around the world happen today because of her.
Yesterday, our family spent some time talking about this passage in Matthew(NIV):
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
What was so funny was that the kids were asking questions about that passage. Then, later, when Mike came down for dinner, he brought up this passage (we hadn’t even heard about it at church!) without knowing we had talked about it.
THEN, we watched VeggieTales: Saint Nicholas, a Story of Joyful Giving. It’s one of my new fave VeggieTales movies (and available on Netflix Instant), but guess what was the highlight passage they referred to as they discussed the life of jolly old Saint Nick?
I think Saint Lucia is just another reminder.
So today, as a family, I encourage you to do some joyful giving in secret!
It’ll make some great memories (I highly recommend doing it at night, and possibly making someone in the family dress up as Santa Claus . . . or an elf… or Rudolph…or Spider-Man. Your choice.)
Besides, what a great way to celebrate St. Lucy’s Day!