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The Story of St. Cecilia’s Unwavering Faith and Dedication

Articles | November 22, 2023 | by Catholics for Catholics

Cecilia was born into a prominent family in Rome and was betrothed to a pagan nobleman named Valerian, despite her devotion to God. On their wedding night, Cecilia revealed to Valerian that she had pledged to remain a virgin and that an angel was guarding her body, protecting her purity. She informed Valerian that he could see the angel by being baptized by Pope Urban I at the third milestone along the Via Appia. Following her instructions, Valerian was baptized and saw the angel. Impressed with Cecilia’s faith, he converted to Christianity, and his brother later followed suit.

During that era, it was forbidden for anyone to bury the bodies of Christians, so newly-baptized Valerian and his brother dedicated themselves to burying the bodies of all the Christians they found. For this, they were arrested and brought before a judge who ordered them to worship the Roman god Jupiter, and were martyred when they refused to deny their Christian faith. The police then came for Cecilia and strongly advised her to renounce her faith. In reply, she told them that she would prefer to die than to denounce the true faith. According to legend, upon hearing her response, they brought her to a large oven with the intention of suffocating her with the hot and toxic gasses it emitted. However, instead of choking, Cecilia began to sing. Infuriated, her persecutors attempted to behead her, but after three strokes of the sword, Cecilia was still alive and her head was not severed. The soldiers then left her covered in blood in her own home, where she remained for three days before she died.

The Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere was constructed on the site where she once lived. St. Cecelia is known for her unwavering devotion to God, particularly when she sang to the Lord on her wedding day, despite being consecrated to God. Her fortitude in the face of adversity is exemplified by her alleged singing within the oven during her martyrdom. Her story is an inspiration for modern Catholics, reminding us to seek solace in music and find God within it.

For the original article click here.


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