A quick note on Lucy’s Day

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Today is the Advent celebration of Saint Lucy’s Day, it is a festival of light. Lucy translates Lux or light, and her day occurs at the darkest time of year. Today also is the second day of Hanukkah, a festival of light.

Saint Lucy’s day is full of traditions, especially in Nordic countries. Hungary has the tradition of plants pot of wheat on this day. By Christmas that wheat will sprout to several centimeters in length, symbolic of the infant in the manger and the Body of Christ present in the Eucharist.

Next Sunday is Gaudete Sunday.

A link to share

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Saint Nicholas is an Advent saint. His feast day ( December 6 ) always occurs in the beginning of the Advent Season. The Saint morphed into the Santa of the USA through advertisement campaigns, politicians, and World War Two. The Saints day had its own traditions that were firmly rooted in Christianity. The bishop Nicholas was not a secular phenomenon. A great place to learn about the true Saint Nicholas is the Saint Nicholas Center . Click the link to learn about some of the Advent and Christian traditions that have been lost to secular consumerism.

ST. ANDREW, Apostle

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30 November

If we would do good to others, we must, like St. Andrew, keep close to the cross.

(modified) From 1894 Butlers Daily Lives of the Saints

ST. ANDREW was one of the fishermen of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilei, and brother, perhaps elder brother, of St. Peter, and became a disciple of St. John Baptist. They are called by Jesus to become “fishers of men”

Andrew seemed always eager to bring others into notice:

  • when called himself by Christ on the banks of the Jordan, his first thought was to go in search of his brother, and he said, “We have found the Messias,” and he brought him to Jesus.
  • It was he again who, when Christ wished to feed the five thousand in the desert, pointed out the little lad with the five loaves and fishes.

St. Andrew went forth upon his mission to plant the Faith in Scythia and Greece, and at the end of years of toil to win a martyr’s crown. After suffering a cruel scourging at Patrae in Achaia (Greece), he was left, bound by cords, to die upon a cross.

When St. Andrew first caught sight of the gibbet on which he was to die, he greeted the precious wood with joy. “O good cross! “ he cried

“made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He Who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee.”

Two whole days the martyr remained hanging on this cross alive, preaching, with outstretched arms from this chair of truth, to all who came near, and entreating them not to hinder his passion.

Ancient text indicates that the cross Andrew was bound to was originally a typical Latin cross similar to the one the Christ was crucified on. Andrew argued that he was not worthy to hang on such a cross as the Lords. His cross was then tipped to form the Chi or X cross, now known as “Saint Andrews Cross.”

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and companions

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Here is an older post from 2014. Some background of these saints from another post is here

 

One of the things that is so memorable about Andrew Dung-Lac is that he was born a poor pagan Vietnamese. His catechesis was coupled with food and shelter, and then baptism. He was not born into Christianity, and the country he lived in was not historically Christian, and he was ethnically Vietnamese. Why do these points interest me? To start, Andrew became a priest, and taught catechism. That was a step up from the impoverished life he was born into, but does not begin to explain this person’s character. Andrews’s character and spirituality come out after the first time he went through imprisonment and persecution for his Christian faith. That persecution was under the emperor’s directive, and was wide spread; though Andrew was able at first to gain freedom with the support of his congregation. This is the part where this priest’s character and spirituality are revealed. After that persecution the priest changed his name, modified his location, and continued his mission. After imprisonment, how easy would it have been for him to simply remove his collar and blend in amongst his countrymen? He was ethnically Vietnamese, so blending in would have been easy. The persecutions going on in that country were among the most brutal in history, yet he did not remove his clerical collar, and to me that speaks volumes about the extent the Holy Spirit descended onto that priest. At his baptism he was initiated into the faith with water, at his first persecution was proof positive that he had received that Spirit. As he continued preaching and baptizing people into the faith, those persecutions continued and they were directed at Christians with unspeakable brutality. Andrew continued with his mission until he was beheaded for the faith at the age of forty-four. His story contains examples of the three types of baptism, that one of water, of the spirit, and by blood. The brutality towards Christians in that country at that time were horrendous. Andrews’s story is easy to tell because it is a brief biographical sketch of a single person. There were one hundred and seventeen martyrs, and each had their own unique story, though I am certain they all had that desire to live and die for their faith and preach the gospel of Christ. It was that faith that defined them, not their ethnicity or social standing. They were European and Vietnamese, Priests, Religious, and Lay people: all placing their faith in Christ. Their story of faith is remarkable and unforgettable.

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