Happy Saint’s Day to my goddaughter Cecilia.
Cecilia-strong in faith, rich in faith – Her faith more beautiful than the stars, more precious than gold… ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovich
Greetings on St. Cecilia’s Feast Day! (December 5/November 22)
The two featured photos are from a visit to Rome in 2009. Below the main floor is the Church’s Chapel of Relics. The altar with the candlesticks is situated in front of the crypt. Behind the altar’s screened gate is the repository of the second century martyrs, St. Cecilia and her husband St. Valerian.
The Church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere (a Roman neighbourhood), was originally established in the 3rd century, and built on the site of her home after her martyrdom. At the time of her death, St. Cecilia’s body was interred for five centuries in the Catacomb Cemetery of St. Callixtus. However, in the early 800’s, the Pope returned her “home” again, to her own Basilica.
On the upper floor of the main church and in front of the main altar, is the later addition (commissioned in the 16th century), of a glass case enclosing the white marble statue of St. Cecilia. A marble slab on the floor in front of it, quotes the Italian sculptor Stefano Maderno’s sworn statement, recording her miraculously incorrupt body was positioned as seen, and seemingly asleep when the tomb was reopened during the renovations in 1599.
St. Cecilia is considered a patron saint of music in the west. During her undesired earthly wedding; she heard heavenly music, and sang hymns in her heart to Christ. (In the east, St. Romanos the Melodist is a patron saint of music.)
Here is a beautiful, short, 2 minute YouTube video, with detail of St. Cecilia’s Chapel Crypt.
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. ~ Psalm 42:8
Kontakion in the 4th Tone
Let us in Godly wise, the hosts of the faithful, / sing hymns to her wedded to Christ of her own will, Cecilia, / whose pure heart with virtues was adorned; / for she wholly put to shame the conceit of Almachius, / and she shone bright as the sun amidst them that pursued her / and then appeared to those upon the earth as a divine staff // that strengthened the holy Faith.
St. Cecilia’s radiant prayers continue to God for us, and are as ever-shining as stars in the heavens.