these labours of faith were discovered by the authorities. The prefect
himself sent for them, calling them to give worship and reverence
to his gods.
When they had
withheld their adoration, the prefect had Valerian and Tiburtius
beheaded, while Maximus was beaten to death.
was to be more gruesome:
She was to
be suffocated in the bathroom of her own home. This was immediately
heated to furnace temperature, and Cecilia placed inside.
To the fear
and astonishment of the soldier, she remained unharmed. The prefect
then detailed a soldier to cut off her head. The man struck at
her neck three times.
to the ground, but she did not die, and for three days miraculously
remained alive. (Catholic Book of Knowledge)
It is said that
those who came to see her over these three days were in awe, and
came to give up their pagan gods to become Christians.
Upon her death,
Cecilia's body was laid to rest in the catacombs. Later, her remains
were moved to the church bearing her name in Trastevere in the city
were being made to this church in 1599, her body was found to be
whole and uncorrupted.
present Roman calendar, St. Cecilia's feast day is celebrated on
November 22. She is a patron saint of music and musicians (especially
liturgical); this has its origin from the story of her ignoring
her wedding celebrations and instead, singing God's praises in her
In sacred art,
Cecilia is often portrayed playing a pipe organ. Though they were
not really in existence during her time, Cecilia is often portrayed
with this instrument because it has been the Church's preference
for liturgical music over many years.
Catholic Book of Knowledge, Rev. Leonard Boase, SJ (Ed), Vol. 2,
Chicago; Catholic Home Press Inc., p. 173
The Oxford Dictionary
of the Christian Church, F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone (Eds).
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974.
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