Although very little evidence exists surrounding the life of St. Cecilia, she was an incredibly popular and famous Saint and Roman Martyr of the early church.
Her feast has been celebrated since at least 545 AD.
Legend records that she was a young Christian of high rank who, although forced into marriage, maintained her virginity and converted her husband to Christianity. Her husband and his brother were later martyred for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Cecilia also met the same fate not long after – however, legend surrounding her death states that she continued to live for three days after being struck three times on the neck with a sword. During that time she gave all she had to the poor, preached the Gospel for the conversion of many and asked the pope to convert her home into a church.
Since the Renaissance, St. Cecilia has usually been portrayed with a viola or small organ and has become the Patron Saint of musicians. She has come to symbolise the integral role of music in the liturgy and the importance of singing praises to God, both in our hearts and sometimes with our voices. Just as King David said in the Psalms: I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music. (Psalm 101:1)