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Feast of St. Cecilia

November 22 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

At a young age, St. Cecilia took a vow of chastity, however, her family arranged for her to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian. Before the marriage could be consecrated, Cecilia informed her new husband of her vow and that there was an angel guarding her, who would protect her should Valerian make any advances. When he asked for proof, she told him he must travel to the third milestone along the Via Appia and be baptized by Pope Urban. He did so and upon returning, could see the angel with flaming wings, crowing her with chaplets of roses and lilies. After hearing Valerian’s story of conversion and sensing the fragrance from the flowers despite the season, Valerian’s brother Tibertius also converted.

During the late 2nd and early 3rd century, Roman law declared it illegal for Christians to have burials. After their conversions, Valerian and Tibertius dedicated their time to giving proper burials to the Christian martyrs of Rome, which were plentiful at the time. While they were doing this, Cecilia spent her time preaching, converting some 400 people throughout her lifetime.

Eventually, the two brothers were captured and brought before the Roman prefect, Turcius Almachius. He commanded they bow down to the Roman god Jupiter and offer the false god a sacrifice. Both refused and were executed.

Not long after, St. Cecilia was arrested and given the fate of suffocation in the baths. For one day and one night, she remained locked in, the prefect’s servants stroking the fire often. Yet, the flames had no effect on her.

Enraged, Turcius Almachius sent an executioner to behead her. She was struck three times but was not beheaded. Bleeding, St. Cecilia welcomed crowds by preaching and praying for them as they collected her blood. On the third day, she died.

In 1599, her body was exhumed and found incorrupt, making her the first of the incorrupt saints. She is the patron saint of music as she is said to have sang praise to God while the executioner tried to decapitate her.

Prayer to St. Cecilia

Dear Saint Cecilia, one thing we know for certain about you is that you became a heroic martyr in fidelity to your divine Bridegroom.

We do not know that you were a musician but we are told that you heard Angels sing.

Inspire musicians to gladden the hearts of people by filling the air with God’s gift of music and reminding them of the divine Musician who created all beauty.




November 22
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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