In Norway, and in the other Nordic countries, a strange custom has developed during the centuries, where the feast of St. Lucy has been-and still is being celebrated on the day of her martyrdom, the 13th of December. This Catholic Saint from Sicily was martyred only 20 years old, in the city of Syracuse in the year og Our Lord 303. She died for her faith, more specificly for her vow of virginity and for refusing to give sacrifice to the idols. She was canonized by the Church shortly after her martyrdom, and her name is still mentioned daily during the Catholic Mass Liturgy.
Even young boys, named "star-boys" take part in these processions, dressed up in white with pointy hats on their heads, something that probably comes from old Napolitan sailor-songs of a young boy who witnessed the martyrdom of St. Lucy. The custom stands strongest in Sweden, where the feast of Lucia/Lucy is still celebrated by most people, and young women are competing in the newspapers over who will win the peoples vote and become Lucy of the year, a sort of social ambassador who can sing, and travels the country to do public appearances... while feasts like "The Ascention of Our Lord" has been completely removed from the Calender..
Here followeth the Life of the Blessed Virgin Lucy.
Saint Lucy, the holy virgin, was born in Sicily, and extract and engendered of a noble lineage, in the city of Syracuse. When she heard of the good fame and renown of Saint Agatha or Agaas, which was published and spread all about, anon she went to her sepulchre with her mother which was named Euthicia, which had a malady, named the bloody flux, by the space of four years, the which no master in physic ne surgery could heal. And when they were at a mass, one read a gospel which made mention of a woman which was healed of the bloody flux by touching of the hem of the coat of Jesu Christ. When Saint Lucy heard this, anon she said to her mother: Mother, if ye believe that this which is read be true, and also that Saint Agatha hath now presently with her Jesu Christ, and also that for his name she suffered martyrdom, and if ye, with this belief, touch her sepulchre, without doubt ye shall be anon guerished and healed. Upon this they, after the mass, when the people were departed, they twain fell down on their knees on the sepulchre of Saint Agatha in prayers, and weeping began to pray for her help and aid. Saint Lucy in making her prayers for her mother fell asleep, and she saw in her sleep Saint Agatha among the angels, nobly adorned and arrayed with precious stones, which said thus to her: Lucy, my sweet sister, devout virgin to God, wherefore prayest thou to me for thy mother, for such thing as thou mayest thyself right soon give to her? For I tell the for truth, that for thy faith, and thy good, thy mother is safe and whole. With these words Saint Lucy awoke all afraid, and said to her mother: Mother, ye be guerished and all whole; I pray you for her sake by whose prayers ye be healed, that ye never make mention to me for to take an husband ne spouse, but all that good that ye would give me with a man, I pray you that ye will give it to me for to do alms withal that I may come to my saviour Jesu Christ. Her mother answered to her: Fair daughter, thy patrimony, which I have received this nine years, sith thy father died, I have nothing aminished, but I have multiplied and increased it; but abide till I am departed out of this world, and then forthon do as it shall please thee. Saint Lucy said: Sweet mother, hear my counsel: he is not beloved of God, that for his love giveth that which he may not use himself, but if thou wilt find God debonair to thee, give for him that which thou mayest dispend, for after thy death thou mayest in no wise use thy goods. That which thou givest when thou shalt die, thou givest it because thou mayest not bear it with thee. Give then for God's sake whiles thou livest: and as to such good as thou oughtest to give to me with an husband or spouse, begin to give all that to your people for the love of Jesu Christ.
Hereof spake alway Lucy to her mother, and every day they gave alms of their goods. And when they had almost sold their patrimony and their jewels, tidings came to the knowledge of her spouse that should ha ve wedded her, and that she was promised to, the which he demanded hereof the truth of the nurse of Saint Lucy, and wherefore they sold thus their patrimony. She answered cautelously, and said that they did it because that Saint Lucy, which should have been his wife, had found one which had a more fairer and nobler heritage than his was, the which they would buy tofore ere they should assemble by marriage. The fool believed it, for he understood carnally this that the nurse had said to him spiritually, and helped them to sell their heritage.
Then commanded Paschasius that the ribalds of the town should come, to whom he delivered Saint Lucy, saying: Call other to you for to defoul her, and labour her so much till she be dead. Anon the ribalds would have drawn her from thence where she was, and have brought her to the bordel, but the Holy Ghost made her so pesant and heavy that in no wise might they move her from the place. Wherefore many of the servants of the judge put hand to, for to draw with the other, and she abode still. Then they bound cords to her hands and feet, and all drew, but she abode alway still as a mountain, without moving. Whereof Paschasius was all anguishous and angry, and did do call his enchanters, which might never move her for all enchantery. Then Paschasius did do yoke for her oxen many, for to draw her, and yet they might not move her from the place. Then Paschasius demanded her for what reason might it be that a frail maid might not be drawn ne moved by a thousand men. She said: It is the work of God, and if thou settest thereto yet ten thousand they should not move me. Of these words the judge was sore tormented And Saint Lucy said to him: Wherefore tormentest thou thyself thus? If thou hast proved and assayed that I am the temple of God, believe it. If thou hast not assayed, learn to assay. And hereof was the judge more tormented, for he saw that she made but her mockery with him. Wherefore he did do make about Saint Lucy a right great fire, and made to be cast on her pitch, resin, and boiling oil, and she abode all still tofore the fire, and said: I have prayed to Jesu Christ that this fire have no domination in me to the end that the christian men that believe in God make of thee their derision. And I have prayed for respite of my martyrdom for to take away from the christian men the fear and dread to die for the faith of Jesu Christ, and to take away from the miscreants the avaunting of my martyrdom. The friends of the judge saw that he was confused by the words of Saint Lucy, and of the drawing much greatly tormented, and therefore they roof a sword through her throat, and yet for all that she died not anon, but spake to the people, saying: I announce and show to you that holy church shall have peace, for Diocletian the emperor, which was enemy to holy church is this day put out of his seignory, and Maximian, his fellow, is this day dead. And in likewise as Saint Agatha is patroness and keeper of Catania, in the same wise shall I be committed to be patroness of Syracuse, this city.
And as she spake thus to the people, the sergeants and ministers of Rome came for to take Paschasius and bring him to Rome, because he was accused tofore the senators of Rome of that he had robbed the province; wherefore he received his sentence of the senate, and had his head smitten off. Saint Lucy never removed from the place where she was hurt with the sword, ne died not till the priest came and brought the blessed body of our Lord Jesu Christ. And as soon as she had received the blessed sacrament she rendered and gave up her soul to God, thanking and praising him of all his goodness. In that same place is a church edified in the name of her, whereas many benefits have been given to the honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed world without end. Amen.
Præfektura apostolica Poli arcici- The Polar Prefecture
Norway was partly converted to Christianity already in the 11th century, although the heathen believes continued to stay strong in certain regions of the country. In the 17th Century the nation was turned over to protestantism by force after the so called "Reformation" and a Lutheran "State Church" was imposed on everybody. For more than 2 Centuries it was forbidden to practise Catholicism in the region. But in 1855 the See of Rome was able to start a new mission in Norway and the Polar Region; the "Præfektura apostolica Poli arcici." And even though most Catholics abandoned their Catholic Traditions in order to be accepted by the Second Vatican Council sect, there are still Catholics left.. People who wish to stay faithful to the Teachings of the ancient, never changing Catholic Church, with it's Papacy, Doctrines and Traditions. People who reject heresies like modernism, freemasonry, false ecumenism and "salvation" in foreign religions. Regular Catholics in other words.