While the musical instruments were playing, the Virgin Cecilia sang in her heart to the Lord alone, saying: * “Lord, let my heart and my body be undefiled, that I be not ashamed.” She fasted and prayed for two days and three days together, and committed to the Lord the cause of her fear.
ST CECILIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR – FEAST DAY: NOVEMBER 22 (PATRON SAINT OF MUSICIANS)
Cecilia, a Roman maiden born of a noble family, at an early age vowed her virginity to God. But when she was married against her will to Valerian, she persuaded him to respect her virginity and to go to Pope Urban to receive Baptism so that he would be worthy to see her guardian angel.
After Valerian had obtained this favour, he converted his brother Tiburtius to Christ, and they both shortly afterwards suffered martyrdom under the Prefect Almachius. Moreover, Cecilia was arrested by the same Almachius and, because she had distributed their property to the poor, ordered her to be put to death in a hot bath.
But when the heat had no effect on her, she was struck three blows with an axe and left half dead, and after three days she obtained her palm of martyrdom. She was buried in the cemetery of Callistus. Her body, and those of Popes Urban and Lucius, and of Valerian and Maximus were brought back to the city of Pope Paschal I and were buried in the church consecrated in the name of St Cecilia.
St Cecilia, pray for us.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964