Sing to the Lord

Today is the feast of Saint Cecilia, the patroness of music.

A “life,” written two decades after her death, notes that she sang to the Lord on the night of her wedding. She had consecrated her virginity to Christ. Her husband respected her virginity and then he and his brother converted to Christianity. Several hundred others were later baptized by the bishop of Rome in their house.

Her husband and brother-in-law were martyred, found out as they buried others martyred Christians. The authorities tried to kill her by suffocation in a steam bath or sauna but she survived. A botched attempt at beheading left her in agony until she died two and a half days later.

There is a beautiful church in the Trastevere section of Rome. The image under the alter is based on the uncorrupted body that was seen when her purported tomb was opened in 1599, though the exposure to air resulted in its disintegration.

Photos from the church follow.

Saint Cecilia in Trastevere, altar and apse mosaic

Saint Cecilia in Trastevere, altar and apse mosaic

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Image of St. Cecilia under the main altar

Mosaic of St. Cecilia in the crypt

Mosaic of St. Cecilia in the crypt

 

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