Today, December 13, is the Feast of St. Lucia, or St. Lucy. Many know this day is celebrated in the Scandinavian countries. In Sweden, they make S-shaped saffron buns, St. Lucia buns, in honor of the saint. The feast day is also celebrated in Italy. St. Lucy is the patron saint of Syracuse, Sicily, where she was born and died. She was killed in 303 during the Diocletian persecution of Christians. In Sicily, it is traditional to make cuccia, cooked wheat, either as a dessert, cuccia with ricotta, or cuccia without ricotta or as a soup, in her honor. The traditional cookies, eyes of St. Lucy, or occhi di Santa Lucia, are in the shape of eyes. St. Lucy is the patron saint of those who are blind, of eyesight and the eyes and of the poor. As legend has it, she would not renounce her Christian faith and either gouged out her own eyes or had them gouged out as punishment. But her sight was restored.
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