Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Cecilia (? to c.180)

After a weekend filled with music, it reminded me of a trip I made to the Trastevere section of Rome, Italy to the Basilica of St. Cecilia. It's absolutely gorgeous and was built around the 5th century to commemorate the patroness of musicians and luthiers.
St. Cecilia was born in the Italy in the 2nd century AD. Much of the information about her is conflicting. She was thought to be a noblewoman of Rome who converted her husband, Valerian. But, it is almost certain that she was martyred under Marcus Aurelius in Sicily c.180.
She lives on in art and writing (including mention in one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales) and is often shown playing the organ or with a harp or violin.
Her skull is kept as a relic at a church at Torcello in Venice.
If you can't make it to Italy to honor her, you can always take in a Mass at St. Cecilia's Church in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Her feast day is Nov. 22.

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