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St. Cecilia, Lorenzo Pasinelli, oil painting

 

Feast of Saint Cecilia

(3rd c.)

St. Cecilia is one of the most venerated of the virgin martyrs of Rome. Her name is in the Roman Canon of the Mass. According to tradition she made a private vow of chastity to Jesus, yet her parents promised her in marriage to a suitor. On her wedding night, St. Cecilia told her husband that she had not only made a vow to remain a virgin, but that an angel guarded her purity. Her husband agreed to honor her vow and follow Christ if he could also see her guardian angel. She instructed him to first be baptized, and afterwards he was able to see her angel. Cecilia’s brother-in-law also converted, and both men were eventually martyred for their faith; but not without first converting their jailer. St. Cecilia was later arrested and also sentenced to death. An executioner struck three blows but was not successful in severing her head from her body; instead, she survived for three days preaching to those who visited her in prison until her last breath. They lovingly soaked up the blood from her wounds with clothes and sponges. Her relics, along with those of her husband, his brother, and the converted jailor, were placed in the church of St. Cecilia in Rome. Because she sang hymns to Jesus in her heart on her wedding day, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians.

Her feast day is celebrated on November 22nd.

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Be filled with the Spirit… singing and playing to the Lord with all your heart.”

cf. Ephesians 5:18-19
The Martyrdom of St. Cecilia, oil on canvas by Carlo Saraceni, c. 1610; in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
Reni, Guido; Saint Cecilia; National Trust, Charlecote Park

Saint Cecilia, martyrpray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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