The angel lights the way

Astrid Skibsted, textile designer at Design School Kolding, has created a Lucia angel in cooperation with Danish Association for the Blind. There is a fascinating legend behind the angel.

- St. Lucia is the patron saint of the blind and classical iconography depicts her with her eyes in her hands. It was inspiring to dive into her story and its significance. She symbolizes clarity of vision, but to me, she is the manifestation of seeing with one’s hands, senses and feelings, says Astrid Skibsted.

In the Nordic countries, most people associate St. Lucia with December 13, where children ’carry forth the light’, wearing white robes and candle wreaths on their brows in Lucia parades. However, the tale of Lucia is much more dramatic than that. The true story of the saint is tragic and bloody: a young maiden who put out her eyes to avoid an arranged marriage with a Roman man, electing darkness (blindness) over light. Hence, she is the patron saint of the blind.

The angel is made of felt with a deep blue colour on one side and nature white on the opposite. The choice of colours is quite deliberate.

- St. Lucia is a legend about the light in the darkness, and the choice of colours refers to a dark blue December sky with twinkling stars, the way we know it here in Scandinavia. One sees both the darkness and the light as the angel turns on her string, says Astrid Skibsted.

The St. Lucia angels are not available in shops. However, everyone can get a handsome gift box with six angels by contributing 300 DKK to Danish Association for the Blind at www.blind.dk.