Oh Cecilia, You’re Breaking My Heart

guido-reni-st-ceciliaAbove: St. Cecilia as portrayed by Italian artist: Guido Reni

Saint Cecilia was a Roman martyr. She is reported to be born Ca. 2nd or 3rd Century A.D., although her dates of birth and martyrdom are unknown.

  • St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and her feast day is celebrated each year on 22 November.

She is said to have heard heavenly music inside her heart when she was forced to marry the pagan, Valerian. Therefore, her name has been associated with a wealth of musical attributes including church music, musicians. composers, instrument makers and poets.

It is suggested that she was young when she was betrothed to Valerian. But before she completed her marriage vows to Valerian, she claimed that she had already vowed her virginity to God and later refused to consummate her marriage.

Cecilia is also acclaimed to have distributed her possessions to the poor, and that this enraged an avaricious prefect who ordered her to be burned. When the flames did not harm her, she was beheaded.

  • Cecilia was buried in the catacombs of a church near Rome. At the beginning of the 5th Centenary, Pope St. Paschal I discovered her relics in the catacombs and had them moved to Rome.

To borrow from Simon & Garfunkel’s 1960’s hit song “Cecilia” which some say is based on Cecilia, the patron saint of music, I will finish with this refrain:

“Oh Cecilia, You’re Breaking My Heart, You’re Shaking My Confidence Daily.”

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