St. Cecelia

Friends in Christ, today is the feast of St. Cecilia.
Cecilia was born in Rome in the 3rd century to an important family, her father being a senator. She had secretly consecrated her virginity to Christ, but her parents thinking she should marry a successful man, arranged for her to marry Valerian, but Valerian was a pagan and not a Christian.
.
So on their wedding night she told her husband: “There is a secret I wish to tell you Valerian. I have an angel that loves me, who jealously guards my body, and if he finds that you touch my body with polluted love, he will certainly slay you. But if you love me in holy love, he will love you as he loves me.’
.
Valerian insisted on seeing this angel. But she told him that he had to be baptized first. After being baptized “He found Cecilia praying in her room, and next to her the angel of the Lord. The angel handed to them a bouquet of red roses and white lilies.
.
Inspired by them, Valerian’s brother, Tiburtius, also became a Christian.
Now at that time, it was illegal to be a Christian, and when it was found out, these two brothers were given the sentence of death. Helped by Cecelia’s prayers, their courage held, and both became martyrs for the Faith. The executioner was so impressed by their faith, that he too became baptized, and his whole family.
.
The morning of their execution, Cecilia roused them saying “Arise, soldiers of Christ, throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” She was quoting St. Paul.
.
Soon, the officers came for her too, but she refused to give up the Faith, and so was given the sentence of death. Seeing this beautiful maiden’s great Faith, over 400 persons were baptized that day.    
.
In her own beautiful home, she was locked inside the steam room, and the heat was turned up to suffocate her, but she said, ‘ it is cool in here!’
She was therefore ordered to be beheaded. There, in her home, an executioner three times tried to decapitate her with his sword, but he could not get her head cut all the way off. He ran away in fear, leaving her to die 3 days later in her own blood.
.
While she was dying, she asked that her large home be made into a chapel, which it is to this very day. She was martyred in the year 230. One can still visit the bath where St. Cecilia was martyred. Its walls are adorned with beautiful paintings. and one shows the executioner raising his sword above Cecilia.
She is such a great martyr of the Church, that her name is in the first Eucharistic prayer. Her body never decayed! It was found 1400 years later to be beautiful and perfectly incorrupt.
.
St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music, and she is often pictured with musical instruments.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation