Today the Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr.
Story of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
According to the traditional story, she was born to rich and noble parents about 283. Her father died when she was young. Fifty-two years prior to Saint Lucy, Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr was executed. Saint Agatha's fame attracted many visitors to her relics at Catania. Lucy and her mother, Eutychia, made the pilgrimage, where Eutychia was healed of a hemorrhage. Lucy persuaded Eutychia to distribute a great part of their riches among the poor.
This angered the young man to whom she was betrothed. He reported her as a Christian. She was executed by with sword in the year 303. She was first condemned to suffer the shame of prostitution but in the strength of God she stood unmovable and could not be dragged away to the place of shame. God also saved her from being set on fire.
According to some stories, Saint Lucy's eyes were plucked out during her torture and God miraculously restored her sight. Her feast day is celebrated especially in Sweden, where elements of light and sight, as well as the martyr's crown, are combined in a beautiful family custom appropriate for Advent celebration.
Sweden's Customs: The eldest daughter of the household, wearing a white dress with a sash of crimson and a crown of branches set with lighted candles, wakes all the members of the household and serves them special cake and coffee.
While it may not be practical to light a crown of candles, the family can enjoy this custom of a special treat prepared by the eldest daughter of the family (with help from mother, if necessary). As a substitute for the flaming crown, the coffee cake can be prepared in the shape of a crown and set with candles --from the website of Women for Faith and Family (http://www.wf-f.org/).
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May the glorious intercession of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy give us new heart, we pray, O Lord, so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday in this present age and so behold things eternal. Through our Lord.
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VISIT FROM THE IRISH AMBASSADOR TO CANADA
Last week, I was pleased to receive at my office the new Irish Ambassador to Canada, Ray Bassett, who succeeded Ambassador Declan Kelly, who is now serving in Kuala Lumpur.
We exchanged on a number of matters: the economic difficulties currently facing the Irish, the Apostolic Visitation of Irish dioceses, etc.
I look forward to our on-going relationship and to meeting members of his family in the near future.
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OTTAWA CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEES SWORN IN
Last Tuesday evening, I presided at Mass at the Catholic Education Centre and witnessed the swearing in of the new Board of Trustees, elected 2010-2014. Here are some photos from the evening's activity: