Sunday, November 22, 2009

St. Cecilia's feast day.

Today is St. Cecilia's feast day. I visited St. Cecilia's church with my friend, Teresa Tomeo while in Rome this past week. It was a very beautiful church and we spent some time there. I was most struck by a man who was pushing a broom, cleaning up the courtyard just outside the door. We stopped to talk with him and ask a few questions about St. Cecilia. I had remembered that I had read something about her recently and I wanted a find out more. The man stood there, leaning on his broom - his eyes gleaming as he told us the story he knew. We felt blessed to hear from this seemingly simple man who appeared to us to have a deep faith. The photo here is one I took of the altar in St. Cecilia's church. Her relics are below the altar.

Here's a bit about St. Cecilia...

"Although Cecilia is one of the most famous of the Roman martyrs, the familiar stories about her are apparently not founded on authentic material. There is no trace of honor being paid her in early times. A fragmentary inscription of the late fourth century refers to a church named after her, and her feast was celebrated at least in 545.
According to legend, Cecilia was a young Christian of high rank betrothed to a Roman named Valerian. Through her influence Valerian was converted, and was martyred along with his brother. The legend about Cecilia’s death says that after being struck three times on the neck with a sword, she lived for three days, and asked the pope to convert her home into a church.

Since the time of the Renaissance she has usually been portrayed with a viola or a small organ." (From A Saint a Day)

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