Book of Saints – Saint Cecilia

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Cecilia, church of Saint-Alexis de Griesheim-près-Molsheim, Alsace, Bas-Rhin, France; by Ott Frères, 1914; photographed on 21 September 2016 by Ralph Hammann; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

November 22

Cecilia is one of the most famous and most loved of the Roman martyrs. According to legend, she was a young Christian of high rank promised in marriage to a Roman named Valerian. Through her example he was converted, and was martyred along with his brother.

An inscription of the fourth century refers to a church named after her, and her feast was celebrated at least in 545. The legend about her death is very beautiful.

Cecilia refused to sacrifice to the gods. The judge condemned her to be smothered by a steam. But God protected her. Then the judge ordered a soldier to kill her with the sword. He struck her three times, but did not cut off her head. She fell down, badly wounded, and for three days she remained alive. After receiving Holy Communion she died in 117. Cecilia is honored as the patroness of religious music. Like any good Christian, she sang in her heart, and sometimes with her voice. She has become a symbol of the Church’s teaching that good music is an important part of the liturgy.

MLA Citation

  • Father Lawrence George Lovasik, S.V.D.. “Saint Cecilia”. Book of Saints. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 January 2019. Web. 15 September 2019. <>