The Feast of St. Cecilia is November 22!
St. Cecilia was born in Rome a long, long time ago – only about 100 years after Jesus died for us on the cross! She loved God very much and would talk to him often in prayer. Her family was very wealthy, so she grew up wearing beautiful clothes, but would wear an itchy sackcloth underneath and offer the discomfort up to God!
Cecilia’s family arranged for her to be married to a young Roman man named Valerian. He was not a Christian, but Cecilia prayed that she would be able to lead him to Christ. On their wedding night, Cecilia told Valerian that her guardian angel was protecting her. Valerian refused to believe Cecilia unless he saw the angel for himself. Cecilia said, “Once you are baptized and become a Christian, you will be able to see the angel standing beside me.” Valerian eventually did decide to become a Christian, and when he returned from his baptism he could suddenly see Cecilia’s angel standing beside her and placing a crown of roses and lilies on her head! Valerian had a brother named Tiburtius who also saw Cecilia’s angel and decided to become Christian too.
The Romans hated Christians and ordered them to be killed. Out of respect for the dead, Valerian and Tiburtius secretly buried the Christians who died. The Romans discovered what the two brothers were doing and sentenced them to death. Cecilia chose to bravely bury her husband and his brother, and was caught and arrested. The Romans ordered her to worship their pagan gods to save herself from death, but she refused. She was killed for standing up for her love of Christ.
St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music because, according to legend, she sang in her heart to Jesus on her wedding day to Valerian. She is often depicted in paintings playing an organ.
The life and death of St. Cecilia teaches us to be brave and always remain faithful to God. While the world might not always understand or like our faith, St. Cecilia reminds us that our goal is not to be accepted in this life, but to be accepted into eternal life in heaven. Today we ask God for the courage to live out our faith with a song in our heart, even when it means sacrificing ourselves.
Time to Celebrate!
Good news! A festive feast doesn’t need to be fussy! Here are a few easy ways to celebrate the Feast of St. Cecilia:
- Print out her free coloring sheet from our Saints Coloring collection for your little saints to enjoy.
- Get uncomfortable! It doesn’t have to be an itchy sackcloth under your clothes, but think of one discomfort or cross to offer up to God today in honor of St. Cecilia.
- Make some music! This patron saint would love to hear you play an instrument or sing a hymn or praise to our God!
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