Showing posts from December, 2020

St. Lucy of Syracuse

Not much is known for sure about St. Lucy (also known as St. Lucia), but there is plenty of legend around her as one of the saints that the early church venerated greatly. St. Lucy's Day is always celebrated during Advent, and was originally on the shortest day of the year, a nod to Lucy's name meaning "light", and points ahead to the light of Christ entering the world on Christmas Day. Lifetime:  283 to 304 Region:  Syracuse, Sicily, Italy Patronages:  The blind; Martyrs; Throat infections; Writers Iconograpy:  Candle wreath on head; Platter of eyes; Sword; Quill Feast Day:  December 13 Lucy was born to noble parents, her father Roman and her mother Greek, but her father died when she was only five. When Lucy was a little older, her mother contracted a deadly disease, which she suffered from for four years before Lucy heard a liturgy in Catania and the story of St. Agatha of Palermo.  This liturgy referenced the gospel story of a woman dying of the same disease as Lu

St. Ambrose of Milan

St. Ambrose is a doctor of the church, one of the many saints who combatted Arianism , and is well-known for encouraging the use of antiphonal chant. Because of his connection to bees and to chant (I am a beekeeper; my wife is a cantor), my wife and I named our son after St. Ambrose. Ambrose was also the first to speak of Mary as an image of the church. He often preached about how Mary is truly the Mother of God (Theotokos). This distinction was important, because the Arian heresy so prevalent in his days claimed that Jesus was created by God, rather than being one of the persons of God. Lifetime:  340 to 397 Region:  Milan, Italy Patronages:  Beekeepers; Candle Makers; Learning Iconograpy:  Bee or bee hive; Bishop's miter and vestments; Scourge Feast Day:  December 7 According to legend, when Ambrose was a baby, a swarm of bees flew in, buzzing all around his head. However, Ambrose wasn't stung -- instead, a drop of honey was left on his mouth. This was seen as a prophecy that