Wednesday, August 17, 2022

St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr – Feast Day – November 22

St Cecilia was born in the 3rd Century around 200-230 AD in Rome, Italy. She was a noblewoman is the patron saint of music and of musicians. We celebrate her feast day on November 22 every year in the Catholic Church.

Saint Cecilia is the Patron Saint of

  • Poets
  • Pipe organs
  • Musicians
  • Music
  • Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Hymns
  • Archdiocese of Omaha, United States
  • Albi, France
St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr Biography
St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr - Feast Day - November 22
St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr – Feast Day – November 22
Date of Birth 3rd-century
Place of Birth Rome, Italy
Date of Death 3rd century
Feast Day November 22
Canonization Pre-Congregation
Patron Saint of
  • Poets
  • Pipe organs
  • Musicians
  • Music
  • Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Hymns
  • Archdiocese of Omaha, United States
  • Albi, France

St Cecilia Life History

St Cecilia hailed from a noble family in Rome. Very little is known about her childhood except that she had vowed to God to remain a virgin throughout her life.

She was married against her will to a young pagan man name Valerian (later became St Valerian). During her wedding, St Cecilia sang in her heart to the Lord as the musicians played. She is therefore known as the patron saint of music and musicians. In art, she portrayed playing the viola or a small organ.

When the time came to consummate their marriage came, Cecilia told Valerian that an angel of God had told her that God had wished that she remains a virgin. Valerian replied that he would respect her wish if only he could see the angel. Cecilia then told him that he would see the angel if only he got baptized by Pope Urbanus on the third milestone on the Via Appia (Appian Way).

When Valerian returned from baptism, he found his wife Cecilia talking to the angel. He was so overwhelmed and thereafter, with the help of Cecilia, converted his brother Tiburtius.

Their conversion to Christianity did not go down well with Prefect Turcius Almachius. Valerian and his brother Tiburtius were martyred sometime before St Cecilia’s turn.

Death

Before she was martyred, St Cecilia distributed all her possessions to the poor to the chagrin of the prefect who ordered her to be burned. When the fire could not burn her, the prefect ordered that she be beheaded.

Responding to the prefect’s threats Cecilia replied “Do you not know that I am the bride of my Lord Jesus Christ?”

She was struck three times on the neck and still did not die. She remained alive for three days and during that time directed that a Church be built at her home. She finally died as a virgin and a martyr.

Relics

St Cecilia was buried in the Catacomb of St Callixtus. Her relics were later discovered incorrupt in the 9th century by Pope Paschal I, who transferred them to the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.

The location of the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere is in the place where she lived. In 1599, her remains were still found incorrupt when they were exhumed to allow for the renovation and expansion of the Church.

Saint Cecilia Feast Day

We celebrate the feast of St Cecilia on November 22 every year in the Catholic Church.

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