November 22 is the celebration of Saint Cecilia. She is considered the patroness of musicians and, therefore, the day is also dedicated to musicians and it is Musicians Day. Not many people know who Saint Cecilia was, so let’s talk about her story.

Saint Cecilia died as a martyr and virgin, however, she got married. Are you more interested now? The story tells us that while the musicians played at her wedding she sang in her heart to the Lord. Besides Virgin Mary, she is one of seven women commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

Though some of the details of her story appear to be fictional, her existence and martyrdom are considered to be historical. When young she made a vow of virginity, however, her parents forced her to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian. During the wedding Cecilia sat apart singing to God in her heart, and for that reason she has been declared the patroness of musicians. At the wedding night Cecilia told her husband that an angel of the Lord was watching over her, who would punish him if he sexually violated her but would love him if he respected her virginity. When Valerian asked to see the angel, Cecilia replied that he could see him if he would go to the third milestone on the Via Appia to be baptized by Pope Urban I. Valerian followed Cecilia's instructions and saw the angel standing beside her crowning her with a wreath of roses and lilies.

After some time she was beheaded with a sword, still a virgin. An early Roman Christian church, Santa Cecilia, was founded in the fourth century in the Trastevere section of Rome, on the site of the house in which she lived. Several musical pieces have been dedicated to her, and her festivity is today the occasion for concerts and musical festivals.