Saint Cecilia's Day, Patron Saint of Musicians and Music.
Who was Saint Celia?
One of the most famous and venerated Saints throughout Christian history has been Cecilia of Rome. She is universally recognized as the Patron Saint of Music, commemorated both in the East and in the West.
The Catholic Church commemorates on November 22, the death of Saint Cecilia, a family woman who died in an undetermined year between 180 and 230 AD after being tortured for her conversion to Christianity. It was in 1594 when Pope Gregory XIII named her Patron Saint of Music and she remains so to this day.
Apparently, much of its history is known thanks to the appearance in the mid-fifth century of texts called 'Acts of the martyrdom of St. Cecilia'.
In them it is indicated that the young woman converted to Christianity and that her parents married her to a pagan nobleman to whom, on the same wedding night, the bride made known that she had given herself to God, meaning that she kept her virginity for Him and that it was guarded by an angel.
Naturally, the groom wants to see the winged being, and Cecilia convinces him that he will only appear to him if he is baptized, which eventually happens and the man is converted to the faith of his beloved wife.
These were not good times in Rome for Christians and they were condemned to die in aberrant ways.
In the case of Cecilia, they first tried in the baths of her own house, trying to drown her with steam without success.
Then, they called an executioner to cut off her head: the story goes that he dropped his axe on her three times without succeeding, so he fled in terror, abandoning the young woman, bloodied but alive. Although she was left battered and finally died three days later.
But... did Saint Cecilia know how to play?
Why is she the Patron Saint of Music and Musicians?
One explanation is based on the fact that, it is said, the girl was internally dedicated to sing to God while the musicians played at her wedding, agreed by her parents, although it seems an insufficient explanation. The Pope, who named her patroness, said that she had "shown an irresistible attraction to the melodious chords of the instruments. Her sensitive and passionate spirit for this art thus turned her name into a symbol of music".
The Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, by Stefano Maderno inside the church of Santa Celia in Rome.
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