Today is the Feast Day of St. Lucy (or Lucia) which means light. It’s a great day to celebrate light during these much longer nights and shorter days. Around school on All Saints’ Day, you might see some of our students dressed up and carrying a plate with two eyeballs or perhaps a class eating eyeball buns. Why is this?
St. Lucy was born to a wealthy Christian family during a time when the Roman Emperor Diocletian was persecuting Christians. After her father died and her mother became ill, she was promised to a pagan man to ensure that she would be taken care of after her mother’s death. She prayed for her mother to heal and St. Agatha appeared to Lucy in a dream sharing that her mother would heal. In their excitement, Lucy and her mother gave away all of their wealth to the poor and devoted their lives to serving Christ.
When Lucy refused to marry her fiance, he was not only outraged that she wouldn’t marry him, but even if forced, she had no fortune to offer. In his anger, her fiance had her denounced to the Sicilian governor as Christian and she went to trial. Governor Paschasius came to the trial at which time Lucy looked him in the eye and said that he and Diocletian would be deposed and die in three years. To this, he had her eyeballs removed and handed to her, before having her executed.
When she didn’t burn to death after being surrounded by burning wood, she was executed by swords and martyred in 304. When her body was brought for burial, her wounds were healed and everything she told the Emporer became reality. The Roman Empire, under the rule of Constantine (St. Helena’s son) legalized Christianity in 313.
Other Tradition
Many cultures celebrate St. Lucy, but perhaps two of the most notable are the crowns and the buns.
  • St. Lucy Crowns: In Scandinavia when the nights and darkness are long, little girls dress up in white dresses with red sashes, carry a palm signifying her martyrdom, and an evergreen wreath on their heads with tall – LIT – white candles. This can easily be imitated with construction paper crowns for the those seeking the simpler and safer route.
  • St. Lucy Buns: Lussebullar, or Lucy Buns, rolled most commonly in the shape of an S, have raisins to look like Lucy’s eyeballs! Typically saffron flavored, these are yeast dough, kneeded, rolled and baked. For those looking for an easier option, canned dough can be used and the raisins can be placed where the curls of the S are for Lucy’s eyeballs.

Fun At School

RAA 7th and 8th grade students enjoy Lucy Buns in class and sing in Italian to celebrate St. Lucy!

Fun at Home