Saint Cecilia


       St. Cecila's window is on the right side, 2nd from the front of the altar. She is holding an organ and flowers.

         The story of St. Cecila begins in Rome in the 3rd century. She vowed herself to virginity to God, but was given in marriage in youth to Valerian of Trastavere. She did penance and fasted, and invoked the saints and angels, beseeching them to guard her virginity. And she said to her husband, "I will tell you a secret if you swear not to reveal it to anyone." And when he swore, she added " There is an angel who watches over me. He wards off from me any who would touch me. He said, "Dearest if this is true show me the angel."  She said, "That can only be if you will believe in the one true God and be baptized."

         She sent him to Pope Urban (223-230) who baptized him, and when he returned, he saw Cecilia praying in her chamber, and an angel by her side with flaming wings, holding two crowns of roses and lilies, which he placed on their heads then vanished. After this happened Tibertius, the brother of Valerian entered and wondered at the fragrance and beauty of the flowers at that season of the year.

         When he heard the story of how they had obtained these crowns, he also consented to be baptized. After his baptism, the two brothers devoted themselves to burying the martyrs slain daily by the prefect of the city. They were arrested and brought before the perfect. When they refused to sacrifice to false gods they were executed with the sword.

         In the meantime, Cecilia converted four hundred persons by preaching. Cecilia was also arrested and condemned to be suffocated. They were unable to suffocate her. The prefect sent an executor to behead her. The executor struck three times but could not sever her head. She preached for three more days as she bled to death. She was buried by Pope Urban and his deacons.

         Her grave was discovered in 817, and, moved to the church of St. Cecilia in Rome. The tomb was opened in 1599, and her body was found to be incorrupt.

         St. Cecilia is patroness of music (Because she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married), therefore she is represented with organ or organ pipes. Also, the flowers she holds represents the flowered crown given to her by her angel. Her feast day is Nov 22.


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