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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Santa Lucia and Lace

St. Lucy has raised an interesting question:

Wouldn't pulling your eyes out be a sin? Isn't it a desecration to destroy His image and likeness God has created in us? I'm confused.

It certainly doesn't seem like a good plan. We don't like tattoos, either.

St. Lucy isn't the only saint who has raised a question such as this one.  There are a number of virgin martyrs who flung themselves into fires and off of bridges and into the sea in order to remain pure and we've always thought of them as brave and noble.  Except that suicide is a sin. A very terrible mortal sin.

I think if you were sitting in your living room and wanted to send your ex-boyfriend, who has admired your eyes, a message by pulling them out and calling the UPS man to pick them up for quick shipping, yes, that would be sinful.

Truth be told. It wouldn't really be sinful.  If you did that you'd be crazy as a loon.  And blind.  You can't sin if you're not in your right mind. You may do sinful things, but you are not responsible. Sin is about intent.

So there are several factors going on with St. Lucy.  She was being tortured, so she maybe wasn't herself.  She didn't pull her eyes out to spite God. She did it because she no longer had need of those things that bind us to this life, and made a bold statement about that with her action.  She was transcendent.  And certainly, it may not have happened. In other versions of the story, her tormentors removed her eyes with forks.

St. Sebastian is the patron saint for lace workers, I can only think that is because he was shot full of arrows, so looked like a pin cushion. Every time I mention him, ( I tat lace) my priest rolls his eyes. he he,

St. Sebastian is the patron saint of pin makers, too, for that very reason. There really is a patron saint for everything. Pin makers! I'm surprised, however, that you aren't on board with St. Clare of Assisi!  The order she founded, The Poor Clares, are famous for their lace and embroidery.  They make altar clothes, among other things.

And speaking of altar clothes
 I live in a small village in Sweden (please excuse any flaws in my English). As you know, Sweden has not been a Catholic country for a few centuries now, and we suffer from priest shortage. The vicar of our parish comes to celebrate mass a few times per month, which everyone here thinks is very good of him because he has to drive 130 kilometres just to get here and he also sometimes drives to celebrate mass in other places, in other directions, on the same day, and then of course he also has to drive back home eventually.

He showed me once how to prepare for mass so that when the priest arrives, everything is ready. Sadly, I don't have perfect photographic memory and I can't remember the details and the correct order of it all. So I thought that perhaps you could help me with some images and explanations? I think such information might also be useful to anyone who wants to help their hard-working priests a little.

Thank you.

Here you go!


Anonymous said...

Sister- Are there any known-for-sure saints from before the time of Christ?

jeliecam said...

Dear Sister
You always provide such interesting information; all 3 answers were enlightening and really liked that video.
You have often sent us searching the interwebs for more info.

Anonymous said...

St. Rose of Lima can also be considered in the "uncomfortable saint" category. She was gorgeous by all accounts, and used stuff like hot peppers and lye to disfigure her beauty, and cut her hair to be short and unattractive. She also performed many acts of self abuse, from scratching herself up with glass to burning herself.

She'd be the original "emo kid" except these were not done for attention or to shock or from self hate, but to dissuade from the physical and devote herself to her religious fervor. Maybe if her father was less of a hard head and let her go into the convent, she would've been less apt to make her own hermitage, but things turned out the way they did, and she was able to perform her holiness in the way she ended up doing it. And, she was also a very good maker of lace, to continue with that theme.

dre said...

The thing I love about St. Rose of Lima is that she had the gift of bilocation! It is a gift I would like to have (sort of like admiring a friend's birthday diamond earrings....)

Maureen said...

No, no, it's St Cattern who is the patron saint of lacemakers - I remember reading about her, there is even a Cattern's Day cake you can bake.

Anonymous said...

How can suicide be a mortal sin when you cannot be mentally well (in your right mind) when you take your own life?

And how is flinging yourself into flames or the ocean or whatever a protection of your moral purity or chastity? If a woman is raped -- what these saints purportedly were facing was forced sexual acts -- she does not become "impure." She has been violated and has in no way sinned of her own volition.