Growing up Protestant, I didn’t know anything about the saints or even who they were. I did, however, know St. Lucia or St. Lucy as some call her.
I had Kirsten, the American girl doll a 1800’s Swedish pioneer girl (she has since been retired). In Kirsten’s Surprise: A Christmas story, Kirsten dresses as St. Lucia and serves her family St. Lucia buns. I loved the story and immediately made a St. Lucia wreath for my doll from plastic leaves, pipe cleaners, and birthday candles.
Naturally, when I joined the Catholic Church, this was one of the first Catholic traditions I adopted for our family. It continues to remain a favorite for the whole family.
I’m posting before the official feast day to give you a few ideas for your own celebrations, but I’ll update later with more pictures from this year’s celebrations.
St. Lucia Day in Our Catholic Home:
Something to serve…
Our Saint Lucia must have something to serve, and in our home it is our family favorite Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. To save work in the morning, I put the ingredients in my bread machine and set the timer before I go to bed. In the morning I get the dough, and then shape, and bake it.
Occasionally, if I’m super ambitious, I have the cinnamon rolls made and frozen ahead of time. The night before, all I do is set them on the counter overnight to thaw and rise. (There are more detailed instructions of how to bake frozen cinnamon rolls on my post for Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls.) This is my favorite way to make cinnamon rolls!
Someone to serve…
St. Lucia this year at 3!
After our marriage, I waited for 7 years before my little girl was born. Then when I had that little pink bundle, I couldn’t wait for her to be old enough to play my “Saint Lucia.” Traditionally, the St. Lucia role is filled by one of the daughters of the family.
Something to wear…
Here she is last year at 2 as St. Lucia! You can never start them too early!
Dressed in Husband’s white undershirt, girded with a sash, and crowned with candles, she makes the cutest Saint Lucia, don’t you think? I’m assuming the white robe is a sign of purity, and the sash (which is supposed to be red) is a sign of her martyrdom.
The wreath of candles seems to be a little more up for debate. I’ve read that she served Christians hiding in the catacombs, and, therefore, to hold her tray, she had to wear her “light” on her head. I’ve also seen somewhere that they are purely a symbol of the fire that could not burn her when she was sentenced to burn at the stake.
Someone to be served…
Our little St. Lucia will be serving our family (along with mommy’s help), but we will also be taking a tray of cinnamon rolls to the nursing home and visiting with our former neighbor and other residents.
Something to read…
You know that my favorite way to teach my little ones about the saints is by reading good Catholic literature to them. Of course, you could read the Kirsten book that started it all for me, but here are a couple other ideas:
- A Story of Saint Lucy by Brother Ernest
- Kirsten’s Surprise: A Christmas Story (an early reader chapter book)
- Lucia: Saint of Light
- Lucia Morning in Sweden
- Lucy, A Light for Jesus
Books are the way I open the doors on the saints for my children. During our afternoon read aloud session, I’ll grab Lucia: Saint of Light, and we’ll dive in. We’ll talk and maybe ask St. Lucia for her intercession.
Something to do…
Through Saint Lucia’s intercession, several areas have been saved from famine. In Scandinavia, she appeared bringing boats of grain to hungry villagers. A similar event is recounted in Italy.
In Croatia, to commemorate these events, wheat seed is planted on St. Lucia Day. Planted on the 13th, the wheat will have sprouted and grown several inches by Christmas Day. The wheat is then placed at the nativity as a gift for the Baby Jesus who is the Bread from Heaven in the Eucharist.
Wondering where to purchase wheat seed, I did the only thing I knew to do – google it! I was able to find a 1 lb. sack on Amazon for a reasonable price. Of course, a pound of seed is much more than we will need, but I think it will be a good gift for our co-op friends (sorry to ruin the surprise for you guys!).
This is our first year planting the wheat seed and I feel like it is going to end up a colossal failure. I’ll let you know how it goes! If you have done this before, I’d love to know if you have any tips!
Somewhere to go…
St. Lucia Day does not end for our family after we’ve polished off the last of the Cinnamon Rolls! In fact, one of our favorite parts comes after we’ve washed the last supper dish.
The children and I stir up a batch of homemade hot chocolate (and if you’ve never had homemade, then you haven’t lived!). When the dishes are cleaned up, I ladle the frothy goodness into thermoses and we head to the car. We drive around our Tiny Town (all 20 streets) and then move on to the larger town down the road to look at the light displays.
St. Lucia is nicknamed the Saint of Light, so we felt this was the perfect day to check out the Christmas displays even if it isn’t “technically” Christmas.
I promise to take lots of pictures of our celebrations and update after the day!
What are you doing for Saint Lucia’s Day?
Other Posts You’ll Like:
(This post contains affiliate links.)