By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics mark on Friday, November 22, the memorial of Saint Cecilia, the venerated patroness of church music and musicians.
Well venerated since the 4th century, the popular Italian saint is considered as one of the most well-known martyrs of Christian antiquity. She is often glorified in literature, the arts, music, and poetry to this day.
Many churches, schools, and music halls were named after her around the world, including the Philippines.
St. Cecilia is one of only seven women, excluding the Blessed Mother, who is commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.
Born in Rome, Italy during the second century, she was pious from youth, and was greatly admired for her deep faith as well as her love for music. According to stories, St. Cecilia gave glory to God and expressed her faith by singing religious hymns as she lay dying a martyr’s death.
Her major shrine, the Church of St. Cecilia in Rome, where she was buried, is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist attraction, receiving hundreds of devotees, pilgrims, and tourists every year. (Christina I. Hermoso)