St. Lucy Feast Day: Lights & Sweets!

St. Lucy Feast Day

December 13 is the feast day of St. Lucy. St. Lucy was a virgin martyr during the first centuries of Christianity under its worst persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire, therefore making her one of the most glorious saints in heaven. She is of such renown that she is one of the saints mentioned by name in the Order of the Mass, and one of only seven female saints mentioned.

Lucia means “light” and so her feast day is associated with candles, torch lights, and even bonfires. Falling during the Advent season—and thus a long, dark winter—there have been many beautiful traditions associating this saint with the meaning of her name, her life, and her glorious position in heaven.

In some Catholic cultures it’s common to have a mass procession on St. Lucy’s feast day with young girls carrying candles, with the lead girl wearing a wreath of lights (which looks similar to an Advent wreath). Tradition holds that St. Lucy would wear a wreath of candles on her head so she could see better as she served the poor Christians hiding from persecution in the dark underground catacombs of Rome.

Many countries have special St. Lucy’s day traditions, but perhaps the most well-known are the ones of Italian and Scandinavian origin. According to this resource, in Sweden, “the oldest daughter of a family will wake up before dawn on St. Lucy’s Day and dress in a white gown for purity, often with a red sash as a sign of martyrdom. On her head she will wear a wreath of greenery and lit candles, and she is often accompanied by ‘Star Boys,’ her small brothers who are dressed in white gowns and cone-shaped hats that are decorated with gold stars, and carrying star-tipped wands. ‘St. Lucy’ will go around her house and wake up her family to serve them special St. Lucy Day foods” which were usually baked sweets.


One simple way to incorporate a St. Lucy’s day sweet treat into your family is St. Lucy’s bread.  Read one family’s fun and easy St. Lucy day tradition (perfect for young girls!) here and here. You can also read more about the fascinating and inspiring life of St. Lucy from a fabulous account written by one Catholic church who enjoys her at their patron saint here.

St. Lucy’s feast day is associated with so many wonderful Catholic traditions, hopefully you can incorporate them into your family or even into your parish each Advent season. If you have a St. Lucy Day tradition, please comment below and tell us about it!

St. Lucia Feast Day

In thy patience thou didst possess thy soul, O Lucy, Spouse of Christ!

Thou didst despise what is of the world,

and now thou are resplendent among the choirs of angels;

with thy own blood thou didst conquer the enemy!

~Antiphon of the Liturgy of the Hours

Saint Lucy Prayer

About Gretchen

Gretchen is a recent convert and completely in love with the Catholic faith. She is very active in her parish and has recently joined the Lay Dominicans. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics & currently works on copywriting, content marketing, and social media for The Catholic Company.
This entry was posted in Catholic Traditions, Holy Day / Feast Day, Patron Saints and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to St. Lucy Feast Day: Lights & Sweets!

  1. J.D. says:

    St. Lucy’s day is also a great day to turn on the Christmas lights… it somehow never seems right to turn them on before Advent has even started, but it can also be hard to wait all the way until Dec. 25th in this day and age, so we use the feast day of the patron saint of light….

  2. Gretchen says:

    Great idea! Love it.

  3. Pingback: How to Celebrate Advent like a Catholic | The Catholic Company

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  5. laire says:

    what is she well known for

  6. Gretchen says:

    Hi Laire, if you read this blog post and click on all the links, you will learn more about the life of St. Lucy.

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