Voting for St. LuciaDecember 8, 2009 at 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

TimeDecember 8, 2009 at 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Five or six sophomore women are chosen each year to be a part of the Court of St. Lucia. The women are chosen by their peers honoring the qualities of the legendary Lucia - Leadership, Service to the College and others, Charity, Kindness toward others, Thoughtfulness. The court this year is: Mary Dierkes, Jennifer Fox, Rebecca Hohag, Whitney O'Connell, Colleen Peterson, and Anna Swenson. St. Lucia is crowned during the 10 a.m. chapel service on Lucia Day, on Dec. 10th.

The legend and history of St. Lucia:

The festival of St. Lucia, which begins the Christmas season in Swedish custom, is traditionally celebrated on Dec. 13 one of the longest nights of winter. The so-called "Festival of Lights" stems from the fourth-century martyrdom of an Italian saint and the incidents which followed.

A woman named Lucia, which means light, was born to a noble and prosperous family in Sicily. Her father died when she was young, so Lucia was raised by her mother in the Christian tradition. When Lucia was a young woman her mother became very ill and Lucia accompanied her to the tomb of St. Agatha. They offered prayers there, and Lucia vowed that if her mother could be healed she would remain unmarried and devote her life to God. Lucia's mother was healed. She revealed her promise vow to her mother, convincing her mother to allow her to give her inheritance, which would have been her dowry, to the poor. Lucia's mother was touched and grateful for her healing so agreed, but Lucia's suitor was not so cooperative. Not only had he lost beautiful Lucia, but her generous dowry as well. He reported Lucia to the government as being a witch and helping the Christians. Lucia was called before a judge, and was killed because she refused to renounce the Christian faith. At twenty years old, Lucia became a martyr, and accounts of miracles followed.

According to Swedish legend, after Lucia's death a ship carrying a maiden "clothed in white and crowned with light" appeared on the shore in the Swedish province of Varmland during a great famine. The maiden, widely believed to be Lucia, distributed food and clothing to the needy, thus endearing herself to the Swedish people.

Different stories and traditions surround St. Lucia, but all focus on the central themes of service and light. St. Lucia is celebrated throughout the world, and honored by many cultures.

As a school founded by Swedish immigrants, the Gustavus Adolphus College community has found it appropriate to keep some of the Swedish traditions alive. This means that on our campus we do serve lutefisk and lefsa at banquets this time of year and since 1941 the campus has celebrated the festival of St. Lucia.

From this court one woman is chosen by the campus to represent St. Lucia. Also included in the campus festival are children of employees who are 5-7 years old and are start children or tompten.

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PostedApr 17, 2019