Feast Day: November 22
Patroness of Musicians, Composers, and Instrument Makers
St. Cecilia was a 2nd-century young noble Christian woman in Rome, whose family promised her in marriage to the pagan nobleman, Valerius. Formerly, she had vowed to remain a virgin, and is said to have heard heavenly music in her heart during their wedding.
She then told her husband of her vow of virginity, and that an angel was protecting her. When Valerius asked to see the angel, Cecilia said he would upon traveling the Appian Way and receiving baptism. Upon doing so, Valerius indeed saw the angel at Cecilia’s side. She thus persuaded Valerius to respect her virginity. He later converted to Christianity, as did his brother Tiburtius.
Valerius, Tiburtius, and Cecilia were martyred for their faith around 177 AD, for their ‘crimes’ of burying other Christian martyrs, and refusing to renounce Christianity. Very many were being baptized, inspired by her witness and strength.
Cecilia was buried in the Catacomb of Callistus, then transferred to the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. In 1599, her body was found incorrupt.