St. Cecilia

CeciliaValerianTiburtiusBorn of an illustrious family, Cecilia as a child consecrated her virginity to God. Forced to marry a young pagan, Valerian, she said to him: “I am placed under the guardianship of an angel who protects my virginity; therefore do not attempt anything which may bring down on thee God”s anger.” Valerian asked to see the angel, saying that if he should see him he would believe in Jesus Christ.

Cecilia told him he must first be baptized and sent him to Pope Urban, who baptized him. Valerian then saw near Cecilia a brilliant angel. The brother of Valerian had a similar vision when, having been instructed by Cecilia, he too was baptized. Valerian and Tiburtious his brother were both martyred a short time later. Cecilia was then arrested and put to death about the year 230. In 1599 her body was discovered in the catacombs by Cardinal Sfoudrati with the head lying partly severed, just as at the time of her death.

Her body now lies in the Church in Trastevere where the nuns of the Order of St. Benedict are its guardians. Cecilia is the patroness of musicians, because when musical instruments sounded she sang to God in her heart.

(Source: Fr. Lasance, The New Roman Missal,)