St. Cecilia

November 22

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints

St. Cecilia
St. Cecilia

In the evening of her wedding-day, with the music of the marriage-hymn ringing in her ears, Cecilia, a rich, beautiful, and noble Roman maiden, renewed the vow by which she had consecrated her virginity to God. “Pure be my heart and undefiled my flesh; for I have a spouse you know not of — an angel of my Lord.” The heart of her young husband Valerian was moved by her words; he received Baptism, and within a few days he and his brother Tiburtius, who had been brought by him to a knowledge of the Faith, sealed their confession with their blood. Cecilia only remained. “Do you not know,” was her answer to the threats of the prefect, “that I am the bride of my Lord Jesus Christ?” The death appointed for her was suffocation, and she remained a day and a night in a hot-air bath, heated seven times its wont. But “the flames had no power over her body, neither was a hair of her head singed.” The lictor sent to dispatch her struck with trembling hand the three blows which the law allowed, and left her still alive. For two days and nights Cecilia lay with her head half severed on the pavement of her bath, fully sensible, and joyfully awaiting her crown; on the third the agony was over, and AD 177 the virgin Saint gave back her pure spirit to Christ.


St. Cecilia teaches us to rejoice in every sacrifice as a pledge of our love of Christ, and to welcome sufferings and death as hastening our union with Him.

Character Calendar

St. Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. Born at Rome, of an illustrious family, she consecrated her virginity to God when she was still a child. The house in which she lived and suffered martyrdom has been transformed into a beautiful church.

The musicians played, and the maiden Cecilia sang in her heart unto the Lord alone, saying: Lord, let my heart and my body be undefiled, that I be not ashamed. — Matins, First Responsory

The Imitation of Christ
Free me from evil passions, and cure my heart of all disorderly affections; so that inwardly healed and well purified, I may become apt to love, courageous to suffer, and steadfast to persevere.
St Cecilia is typical of the kind of woman who inspires those who admire her to become like her. She was good and holy, and became the inspiration for Valerian to become a Christian and give his life for his faith as she did.
Everybody who meets you is better or worse for the meeting. You cannot go to heaven alone, nor can you miss going there alone; that is, you influence one way or the other those with whom you live. Think about this today, and tell yourself of what kind your influence must be.
I am a part of all I have met.