Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


St. Lucy

Bearing light…

December 13, 2012…the first time, in many years, there were no warm rolls, no white-robed girls with candle wreaths singing their way up the darkened stairs, candles clasped in hands eager to serve…

IMG_2659 IMG_2661Instead, the children waited, prayerfully, fearfully and expectantly for news of Daddy…news that his heart was fixed and that he was on the road to recovery.  It was a sad time…filled with uncertainty.  Yet the pillar of faith held us, and after a rough year, we still stand, joyfully awaiting the Light…

IMG_2666This year our girls, with a whole new kind of appreciation for this lovely feast day, once again donned the traditional garb and sang their way through the dark, bearing light and love as they served the family…

IMG_2667IMG_2676I love being Catholic.  I love the gift of this holy Faith that nourishes us and fills us with the Light of Christ, with His holy Word and the traditions that reinforce the power of the Communion of the Saints.

IMG_2681My little ones have literally grown-up with these traditions and the Feast of St. Lucia is particularly dear to us.  From the time they were old enough to hold a candle aloft, they’ve awakened at dawn on St. Lucia’s Day, and dressed as the virgin-martyr, they’ve sang and served…







IMG_2663May the Light and Love of Christ illuminate your life…may you know the peace that comes from embracing that Light!


Sweet light…

Good morning…

It’s the Feast of St. Lucia…

A perfect day to bring light…

…and love to the world.

This sweet tradition has been celebrated for centuries, throughout the world. Little girls, crowned in holly and candles, bearing sweets and light.

My little ones have literally grown-up with this tradition.  From the time they were old enough to hold a candle aloft, they’ve awakened at dawn on St. Lucia’s Day, and dressed as the virgin-martyr, they’ve sang and served…






May the Light and Love of Christ fill your heart and soul, this day and every day after!


Bearing lighted candles…

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

St. Lucy and her handmaiden, last year
St. Lucy and her handmaiden, last year

Tonight we’ll prepare the buns for the Feast of St. Lucy.  Rising before the sun, St. Lucy and her handmaiden will carry a laden platter to each room, serving each family member in remembrance of our beloved saint…

Here’s a recipe  from for Lussekatter also called St. Lucy’s Buns.

St. Lucy’s day marks the opening of the Christmas season in Sweden. Lussekatter are their delicious saffron buns made in any number of figures: cats, “s” shapes, or figure eights.

* 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
* 8 ounces (1 cup) milk
* 1 tablespoon yeast
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 4 ounces (1 stick) butter
* 5 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* 1 beaten egg white for egg wash


Using a mortar and pestle, pound saffron threads to break down strands.

In a small saucepan, heat milk to lukewarm.

Mix yeast with 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.

On low heat, melt butter in saucepan with milk. Add crushed saffron. Let cool.

In large bowl, mix together flour salt and remaining sugar.

Stir yeast into cooled milk mixture. Mix into dry ingredients, beating to mix well. Add beaten eggs. Knead in bowl for 5 – 7 minutes. Turn onto floured board and knead another 7 – 8 minutes.

Put dough in lightly greased bowl, turn to coat all sides, cover and put in warm, draft-free place to rise for about 1 hour.

When dough has risen, knead lightly to push out air and divide into small pieces (about 10 – 12). Using the hands, roll each small piece into a strip about 8 – 10 inches long. Shape each strip into an ‘S’ or a figure 8. Place on lightly buttered cookie sheets.

Cover with clean cloth and let rise again until double in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

When dough has risen, brush lightly with egg white. Bake in preheated 375° F oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on wire rack.

Yield: 10 – 12 buns

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