Saint Cecilia

Saint Cecilia was born in Rome of a patrician family and raised a Christian. Her parents married her to Valerian, who lived at Trastevere. She convinced him to respect her virginity and Valerian became a Christian. Cecilia also converted his brother Tiburtius.

As the persecution became more rigorous, the two brothers undertook to inter the faithful to whom the Romans refused to bury. They were eventually arrested and decapitated. Cecilia buried Valerian and Tiburtius in her villa on the Appian Way and was arrested for doing so. She was given no alternative but to sacrifice to the gods or to die. She chose death. When her sentence of death by suffocation was miraculously prevented, a soldier was assigned to behead her. She lay dying for three days before she expired. Tradition places her death between the second and third centuries.


The Acts of St. Cecilia contain the following passages: "While the profane music of her wedding was heard, Cecilia was singing in her heart a hymn of love for Jesus, her true spouse." This passage resulted in belief in the musical gifts of St. Cecilia and has made her the patron saint of musicians. We celebrate her feast on November the twenty-second.