The Story of Saint Lucia stretches back to the time of the Vikings and the Roman Empire. According to legend, Lucia was a brave young woman from the island of Sicily, in the Mediterranean. When Lucia heard about the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Diocletian, she gave one Christian family her entire dowry. This so angered her betrothed husband, that he told authorities that Lucia secretly practiced Christianity. Lucia, who died a martyr’s death, was much admired for her courage, generosity and faith. Later, Viking sailors heard the story of the young Italian girl and were so moved that they brought it home with them to Scandinavia. The Vikings imagined Lucia to be a shining figure, surrounded by light. Saint Lucia is represented now by a young, blond girl who wears a white dress and a head wreath with candles. Saint Lucia‘s day, December 13, marks the beginning of the Winter Solstice. Also, in Swedish folklore, unmarried girls believed that Saint
Lucia would tell them who their future husband would be on her saint day.