Monday 25th March 2019

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Cecilia

November 18, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

The Catholic Church has thousands of saints. For the last two millennia, people of great holiness, exemplifying heroic virtue, have been honored as saints, members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven giving honor and glory to God. Some have been formally declared saints by the Church, while others have been so honored from the beginnings of the Church, such as Cosmas and Damian, Philomena, and Perpetua and Felicity.
Like Saints Cosmas and Damian, and like Perpetua and Felicity, St. Cecilia is remembered in the Roman Canon. In the second half of the First Eucharistic Prayer, she is memorialized along with three other martyred virgins: “Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, and Cecilia.”
There is little written historical evidence of Cecilia, about whom some legends have developed. The exact date of her birth is not known, with estimates ranging from the first century to the fourth century.
St. Cecilia was born into a wealthy and noble Roman family, raised in a Christian home. Traditions handed down assert that she lived a holy and virtuous life from her early years. Although she wore finely woven, beautiful garments according to her social rank, underneath she wore course material as an act of penance. She fasted several days a week and vowed to remain a virgin for love of Jesus.
Not surprisingly, her father had other plans for her and arranged a marriage between Cecilia and another patrician, Valerian. Although Valerian was a good man, he did not profess Christianity. While the guests celebrated the wedding, Cecilia sat lost in thought as she listened to the music and sang in her heart for the glory and praise of God.
Before her wedding, St. Cecilia prayed to her guardian angel and the saints to protect her virginity. On her wedding night, when her husband came to her, she spoke to him of her vow, saying, “I have a secret to tell you. You must know that I have an angel of God watching over me. If you touch me in the way of marriage, he will be angry and you will suffer; but if you respect my maidenhood, he will love you as he loves me.”
Valerian did not react in the way one would expect most pagans to react. Instead, he calmly asked Cecilia to show him this angel, saying, “If he be of God, I will refrain as you wish.”
Cecilia responded that if he believed in the one true God and became a Christian, he would be able to see the angel. She then sent him to Bishop Urban, or some accounts say Pope Urban (reigned 222-230), who received Valerian and joyfully welcomed him into the Church.
Having thus been received into the Church near the Appian Way, Valerian returned to his bride. Just as Cecilia predicted, because he had become a Christian, Valerian saw the angel standing by her side. The angel then placed a wreath of lilies and roses upon the heads of the newlyweds.
Furthermore, some claim that Tiburtius, Valerian’s brother, also saw the angel and witnessed the crowning of Cecilia and Valerian. Then Tiburtius also converted to Christianity. After their conversion, the two brothers spent much of their time performing good works such as the corporal works of mercy.
They spent many hours burying the bodies of the martyrs, earning them the wrath of the prefect, Almachius, who had them arrested. When Tiburtius was brought before the prefect and was cross-examined, he professed his Christianity and explained why he buried the dead. The court set down his answers as those of a crazed maniac.
When Valerius appeared before the same court giving the same testimony, that Christ was the true physician and son of God, they ordered him to sacrifice to the gods. Both Tiburtius and Valerian refused to sacrifice, saying that they would only sacrifice “to the one God to whom we offer sacrifice daily.”
Valerius and Tiburtius were beheaded at Pagus Triopius, four miles outside of Rome. During their brief imprisonment they converted one of the officials by their fortitude and joy for the approaching martyrdom. He also was martyred for declaring his Christianity.
During the time that the brothers were being tried and executed, St. Cecilia had converted 400 more people. When she learned of their deaths, she left her home and retrieved the bodies of Valerian, Tiburtius, and the guard. She gave burial to the three bodies.
Soon Almachius, having learned that she was the wife of Valerian and had converted many, sent for her. However, she turned the tables on Almachius by converting the same people who were to force her to sacrifice to the pagan gods. When Pope Urban came to her home, he celebrated Mass and baptized the converts. Gordian, another wealthy noble, established a church in her house, which was later dedicated in her name.
Almachius persisted in trying to bring her to repudiate her faith. She finally was brought before him, where she proceeded to argue, tripping him up on his own words. He then ordered her to be executed.
The first attempt to kill her failed when the furnace that was made seven times hotter than usual did not even make her perspire. Finally, a soldier was sent to behead St. Cecilia. Three times he struck at her to behead her and failed each time, but he left her so severely wounded that his blows became fatal.
For three days she lingered, singing and praising God, receiving many Christians who came to her side. She left all of her wealth to the Pope, thus donating the church that had been established in her home.
St. Cecilia loved music and singing and thus has become the patron saint of musicians. Though some credit her as the founder of the organ, the instrument can be traced back to Greece in the third century B.C.
Pope St. Paschal I (reigned 817-824) translated the apparent relics of Saints Cecilia, Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus to the Church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere during the early ninth century. In 1599 a sculptor, Stefano Maderno, received permission to look at the body of St. Cecilia in order to make a statue for her tomb. He found the body incorrupt — the first time that the body of a saint was found to be incorrupt.
The Feast of St. Cecilia is celebrated on November 22.
Dear St. Cecilia, music and song brought you so much peace in difficult times. No matter how tragic your circumstances, you remained confident in God’s Providence and mercy. Intercede for us, dear St. Cecilia, that we may also remain confident in times of trial. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello - https://t.co/ft6sr36bka

CRS: Catholic Charity? Or Secular Government Agency? - https://t.co/rg6BpAebKz

Load More...

Cardinal DiNardo discharged from hospital, expected to make full recovery

Houston, Texas, Mar 21, 2019 / 08:59 am (CNA).- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has been released from the hospital, following a mild stroke last week, his archdiocese announced March 20. The cardinal, who serves as president of the U.S.…Continue Reading

Montreal priest stabbed at Mass ‘eager’ to return

Montreal, Canada, Mar 23, 2019 / 03:19 pm (CNA).- Father Claude Grou is out of the hospital and grateful for the groundswell of support he received after he was stabbed by an assailant while celebrating a televised Mass at St.…Continue Reading

Montreal-archbishop-responds-to-priests-stabbing

The Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lépine, has released a statement regarding Friday morning’s attack on Fr. Claude Grou, a religious of Holy Cross and rector of St. Joseph Oratory. “Father Grou suffered some injuries, however, thank God, he is not in…Continue Reading

Rorate interviews Professor Roberto de Mattei regarding Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s analysis on the subject of a heretic Pope.

 – Professor de Mattei, would you care to give us your opinion on the study His Excellency Monsignor Schneider made on a “heretic Pope”? – I consider it an important document. Firstly, Monsignor Schneider is one of the most esteemed among…Continue Reading

Chinese president will likely snub the Holy See, Pope Francis while in Rome

VATICAN CITY, March 20, 2019, LifeSiteNews — Despite entering into a controversial, lopsided agreement with the Vatican last September in which China gained greater control over the Chinese Catholic Church, President Xi Jinping will evidently snub the Holy See while…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: ‘I Myself, as a Catholic, Believe…’

(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said at her press briefing on Thursday that she wants to “salute” the Green New Deal and went on to explain that “as a Catholic” she believes—“as do many of our Evangelical friends”—that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis warns against gossip, forgetting one’s own sinfulness

Rome, Italy, Mar 3, 2019 / 01:30 pm (CNA).- In a visit to a Roman parish on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to stop gossiping and ruminating on the shortcomings of other people, and to instead focus on repenting of…Continue Reading

Catholic network Salt + Light stands by CEO Fr. Rosica despite plagiarism

TORONTO, March 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation is standing by Father Thomas Rosica, the network’s CEO, despite revelations of his extensive plagiarism going back almost 30 years. Meanwhile, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says…Continue Reading

Measure to protect babies who survive abortion fails in Senate 53-44

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Senate in an evening vote Feb. 25 failed to pass a measure sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, to require that babies born alive after an abortion be given medical attention and “the same protection of…Continue Reading

Prosecutors drop second trial against Cardinal George Pell

Melbourne, Australia, Feb 25, 2019 / 06:21 pm (CNA).- Prosecutors have abandoned a planned second trial against Australian Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted in December 2018 on five charges of the sexual abuse of minors. Pell is reported to…Continue Reading

Rosica resigns from college board after plagiarism apology; Jesuits withdraw award

Washington D.C., Feb 25, 2019 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- A Canadian priest who apologized last week for plagiarism has resigned from the governing board of a Catholic college affiliated with the University of Toronto. “As a sign of contrition and…Continue Reading

Abuse Survivor: Pope’s Devil Comments ‘Outrageous’

Pope Francis’ latest slam on church critics as cohorts of Satan stunned survivors of priest sex abuse and their advocates, who called the pontiff’s remarks “outrageous” on the eve of his clergy summit on the long-running scandal. “It’s outrageous ……Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Chilean cardinal accused of cover-up

Vatican City, Mar 23, 2019 / 09:21 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Saturday accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, who has faced accusations that he was involved in covering up the crimes of several abusive priests. Cardinal Ezzati’s resignation was originally submitted to Pope Francis in May 2018, along with the rest of the Chilean bishops. The pope March 23 named Bishop Celestino Aos Braco, OFM Cap., to…Continue Reading

Video surfaces of Beto O’Rourke berating Catholic priest for defending male/female marriage

EL PASO, Texas, March 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A video of pro-abortioncongressman Beto O’Rourke, who is running for president, has surfaced showing him berating a Catholic priest for defending male/female marriage at an El Paso City Council meeting in 2011. The incident took place in June 2011 when El Paso priest Fr. Michael Rodriguez spoke against extending marriage benefits

South Dakota governor signs multiple pro-life laws including ultrasound requirement, end-of-life parental involvement

PIERRE, South Dakota, March 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed a slate of bills into law Wednesday to impose various new restrictions on abortions and responsibilities on the physicians committing them, as well as a new safeguard for patients’ rights. Forum News Service reported that four of the bills will require abortionists to give women the chance to see a sonogram of their baby and listen to his or her…Continue Reading

On the question of a heretical pope

schneider

The issue of how to handle a heretical pope, in concrete terms, has not yet been treated in a manner which approaches anything like a true general consent in the entire Catholic tradition. So far, neither a pope nor an Ecumenical Council has made relevant doctrinal pronouncements nor have they issued binding canonical norms regarding the eventuality of how to handle a heretical pope during the term of his office. There is no historical case of…Continue Reading

GOP congressman sues Twitter for shadow-bans, discrimination against conservatives

March 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes is taking Twitter to court for the social media giant’s alleged discrimination against himself and other prominent conservatives through shadow-banning and other means. Last summer, Nunes was one of several Republican lawmakers and GOP leaders whose Twitter accounts had disappeared from the drop-down menu that normally populates when typing in a name, without comparable figures such as Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez or any…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Vatican Diplomat… Accused Of Corruption And “Romantic” Relationship While At UN

By ED CONDON and J.D. FLYNN NEW YORK (CNA) — An archbishop who served as the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations is accused of financial and managerial mismanagement, including the use of Vatican staff and influence to assist and support financially a woman with whom he had a romantic relationship. Sources say…Continue Reading

Listening To The Word Of God

By DONALD De MARCO Aristotle, in his treatment of animals (On the Soul 421a22), makes the observation that there is a relationship between softness of skin and intelligence. Those animals with harder skin are less intelligent than those with softer skin. “That is why,” he concludes, “man is the most intelligent of all animals.” With…Continue Reading

Who Spawned The Christchurch Killer?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On Friday, March 15 in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the more civilized places on Earth, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, an Australian, turned on his cellphone camera and set out to livestream his massacre of as many innocent Muslim worshipers as he could kill. Using a semi-automatic rifle, he murdered more than…Continue Reading

Among U.S. Military… Ban On Gender Transition To Take Effect In April

By CHRISTINE ROUSSELLE WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — Troops enlisting and serving in the U.S. military will have to serve as their biological sex and are forbidden from transitioning to another gender, a new Department of Defense policy states. The policy was announced in a memo that was obtained by the Associated Press March 12. The…Continue Reading

Medical Ethics: “Who’s Next?”

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on WorldNetDaily, March 1, 2019.) + + + It’s really getting out of control. The headlines and news reports are filled with life and death. Not war. Not accidents. No, these news stories are about how and when our medical system can, and will, legally kill…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… In Conversation With Islam

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In light of the recent shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, a senseless tragedy with the destruction of at least 49 human lives, public conversation turned again to Muslims and their beliefs and our relationship with them. I recalled my own experience of a conversation with a Muslim some years ago. Many who do…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent reply about giving Holy Communion to everyone at a funeral or wedding, J.C. of Ontario, Canada, sent along the following comments: “I appreciate the clear answers which were given to E.B. of New York. . . . I as a non-Catholic who is a Baptist am well aware that Protestants cannot participate with Catholics in…Continue Reading

Empty Chalice At Consecration Time… Could Signal A Grave Violation Of Canon Law

By Fr. Edward McNamara, LC (Editor’s Note: Following is a Q-and-A from Fr. Edward McNamara’s regular column published by ZENIT News Agency. The date of this column is March 12, 2019. (ZENIT holds the copyright to this article. All rights reserved.) + + + (Legionary of Christ Fr. Edward McNamara is a professor of liturgy and dean of theology at…Continue Reading

Heaven, The Promised Land

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Lent (YR C) Readings: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12 Luke 13:1-9 In the readings today we hear about both the justice and the mercy of God. The first reading is all about God’s mercy. The people of Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for 430 years, but in that time they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Cardinal Pell: The Pendulum Swings

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The pendulum means nothing on its own and functions only by means of a power external to itself: the law of gravity. The swing of the pendulum is a symbol of the lack of balance, for the forces at work upon it which keep it in constant motion prevent its rest in a central position…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello

By CAROLE BRESLIN Mary and Joseph led a chaste life, as husband and wife for the greater glory of God. The parents of Therese of Lisieux, Marie-Azélie Guérin and Louis Martin, also hoped to live this way, but their spiritual director advised them not to do so. In obedience, they provided the Church with a wonderful example of holiness. Another…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Cuthbert

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Melrose Abbey in Scotland, which is located about 30 miles south-southeast of Edinburgh, attracts more visitors than just about any other attraction in Scotland. Although mostly in ruins now, the abbey boasts a museum and other sites of interest, such as the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. Mel Gibson revived interest in him with the…Continue Reading