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During the second or third century, the patron saint of music and musicians, who we now know today as Saint Cecilia, was born into a wealthy, Roman family.   Not much is known about Cecilia’s early life since she was from a time period in which not a lot of things were recorded, but it is known that was an only child and her family was very religious.   Cecilia’s love of music started in her home where she played many instruments from her era.  It is even believed that she invented the organ!  Her love of music continued to blossom throughout the years at home and in church.   The day that Saint Cecilia is celebrated is November 22  (Kelly and Roger 57). The parents of Cecilia betrothed their daughter to a person named Valerian.  Valerian was known for being noble and came also from a very religious family (New World Encyclopedia).  On Cecilia’s wedding day,  she sang her heart out to the Lord (Rabiipour).  It was stated that,  “While the profane music of her wedding was heard, Cecilia was singing in her heart a hymn of love of Jesus, her true spouse.” (The Catholic Company). This song is still known to this day.  After Cecilia was married, she told her new husband that she had made a vow to God from a very young age and planned to keep it.  Her vow was that she would remain chaste and she was protected by an angel that God sent to protect this promise (Rabiipour).  Valerian did not believe her.  He wanted to see the angel as proof.  Cecilia told him that if he were to get baptized, he would also be able to see the angel.  Valerian decided to be baptized and then miraculously, he could see the angel too. The following week, Valerian’s brother, Tiberius came into the town and Valerian told him about the angel.  Both of these brothers were now Christians and were inspired by the angel they could see together, and began charitable work.  They started burying martyred saints who died that day. This became something that they would do every day for their town, until one day, the officials sentenced the brothers to death because during Roman times, it was illegal to bury someone who had been martyred that day. The officials demanded that they offer a sacrifice up to the gods or be killed.  The brothers remained faithful to their christian belief and chose death (Rabiipour).With Cecilia’s husband and brother in law dead, she faced sadness and depression so she turned toward the church. She became very fond of preaching and singing at daily masses there.  Later, she was arrested because she had baptized over 400 people in her home, which was illegal to do.  When she was caught, Cecilia was sentenced to death by the officials.  She was going to be put into a chamber and lit with flames.  She was in the chamber for a whole day and when the guard came to collect her ashes, much to their surprise, she was still alive. The flames had no affect on her, in fact, she did not even sweat (Rabiipour).  Determined to kill her, the officials sent someone to decapitate Cecilia.  The guard tried to cut off her head, but miraculously, it did not decapitate her.  The knife was only able to sever Cecilia, however, she did lay there bleeding.  During this time her followers came and collected her blood.  As they were collecting her blood, she faithfully continued preaching to the people.  Cecilia had laid there in the same spot for three days bleeding and preaching to the people of God, and then died spreading her faith.Following her death, over four hundred people converted to Christianity.  In 817,  her grave was discovered and her body was moved to the Church of Saint Cecilia in Rome. In 1599, almost twelve hundred years later, officials reopened her tomb and surprisingly her body had not decomposed.  She was immediately transferred into Saint Cecilia’s titular church in Trastevere, Italy (Catholic Online).  However, after that length of amount of time, eventually her body did decompose.  Amazingly, Saint Cecilia was one of the first saints to whom this had ever happened.Since Saint Cecilia died in the 2nd or 3rd century, canonization was not a practice yet. In fact, canonization was not invented until 993 when it was first used by Pope John the 15th (Encyclopedia Britannica). Therefore, Cecilia was never canonized, as well as many other saints from that time period.  In that time if you had died for your religion you were considered holy. I chose Saint Cecilia for this project because I relate to her through music and I believe she should be an inspiration to everyone.  I feel she is an inspiration to others because she shows that even faced with difficulties you can make it through. She did this after her husband and brother-in-law died for their faith.  After, she was faced with sadness and some depression and she turned her faith toward God.  Saint Cecilia started preaching and singing at daily masses to ease her pain (Rabiipour).  This shows that she was truly wise to go to God and showed others that if you are going through a rough time that you can always rely on God.  Saint Cecilia also inspires me because she was so passionate and dedicated to her music.  She would spend so much time on her voice and all the instruments she played.  It is known that Saint Cecilia “could play every musical instrument in her time period, sing any song, hear Angelic harmonies, and may have invented the organ” (Kelly and Roger 57).  I think it is so incredible that she could play all of the instruments in her time period and  to be able to do that then seems quite remarkable. Saint Cecilia is an inspiration to me as well as she should be for others.

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