Today we observe the liturgical memorial of Santa Lucia (ca. 283-304). She died a Syracuse on the island of Sicily likely during the persecution of the Roman emperor Diocletian. She was widely venerated from an early date, which is why her name appears in the Roman Canon. Her feast, celebrated during Advent, is a feast of light. Her day is observed in particular ways among Christians in Northern Europe. After all, Lucia means light.
A few years ago, I composed a lengthy post on Santa Lucia, which was an expanded version of a post from a few years before that, just to give you an idea of the cultus of this highly venerated virgin/martyr.
In Light of the World, Peter Seewald mentions the words of a famous Brazilian supermodel to the Holy Father, stating "that nowadays no woman enters marriage a virgin." Pope Benedict says quite forthrightly that he "disagrees with the supermodel, and many others as well." He goes on to "insist that statistics do not suffice as a criterion for morality... the results of surveys about what people do or how they live is not in and of itself the measure of what is true and right." Indeed, it is the witness of the saints, how they lived and, for the martyrs, like St. Lucy, how they died, in imitation of the Lord, that establishes the criterion of truth and right.
Santa Lucia, ora pro nobis.