Fiesta de Santa Cecília

Guido Reni: St. Cecília, 1606, oil on canvas

Saint Cecília

Cecilia was a young woman from Rome born from a wealthy family in the 3rd century AD. Her family gave Cecilia in marriage to a pagan man named Valerian. Cecilia was devout to her love of God and to maintaining her virginity. She wore a sackcloth close to her skin, she fasted, invoked angels, and saints. During her wedding, she sang in her heart to God. Before her consummation of marriage, she told her husband that an angel of the Lord was with her, protecting her and would strike him down should he try and take her virginity. Her husband demanded to see the angel as proof. Cecilia told him to travel to the 3rd milestone on the Via Appia (Appian Way) and be baptized by Pope Urbanus. Only then would his eyes be opened and he could see the Angel and she would love him. After Valerian did as Cecilia had asked, he returned home to his wife and saw an Angel at her side crowning her with a chaplet of roses and lilies.

Valerian's brother Tiberius heard the story of the angel and also wanted to be baptized. The two brothers dedicated their lives to burying Saints who were killed each day by the prefect Turcius Almachius until their execution. When captured, they were asked to give a sacrifice to the gods for their sins. When they refused; they were killed. Soon after, around 222-235 AD in Sicily, Cecilia was arrested and condemned to death by suffocation in the baths. She was shut in for one night and one day. Cecilia emerged without harm and without sweat. When Emperor Marcus Aurelius heard, he sent an executioner to behead her. He struck at her neck three times with a sword, but was unable to decapitate her. She lived for three days until she finally bled to death. Crowds collected her blood as she prayed and sang to God. Cecilia sang so beautifully that she converted the prison guards to Christianity. It is estimated that Saint Cecilia converted over 400 people. Cecilia was buried in a silk veil and gold embroidered dress.

Officials exhumed her body in 1599 and found her incorrupt. She is to date, the first incorruptible Saint. It was also noted that she smelled of roses. Her remains were transferred to Cecilia's Titular Church in Trastevere and placed on a high altar. She is the patroness of music because she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married. She is also the Patroness of musicians, poets, hymns, great musicians, Alibi, France, Archdiocese of Omaha, Mar del Plata, Argentina, pipe organs and Mariachis.

Her feast day is celebrated November 22 and the day is also known as “El Dia del Mariachi". Mariachi's consider this day their professional holiday. Traditionally, mariachis do not accept pay to play/sing on this day as a way to honor the beloved Saint. The feast day of "Santa Cecilia" is celebrated with festivals, concerts and parades around the world. Saint Cecilia is venerated in the Latin, Easterm Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Communities. She gained many followers during the Middle Ages in Europe. Many songs, musical instruments and works of art were made in her honor. The first known celebration honoring Cecilia was at Evreux in Normandy 1570. Attributes of Saint Cecilia are the flute, organ, roses, violin, harp, baritone harpsichord, songbirds and singing.

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Saración a Santa Secilia

Señor y Diosnuestro, túescogistepara ti desde su más tiernos años a Santa Cecilia. Ella amó a Dios, a su familia, a sus semejantes, hasta entregar todos su bienes a los pobres. Desde su imagen nos señala una ruta. Es un faro, luminoso en los acantilados del mundo. Se nos muestra joven, hermosa, rica, sana. Exhibe valentía, carácter, robustéz de alma... hasta entregar su vida.Queremos aprender de ella esa fe y esa valentia para vivir nuestro cristianismo sinclaudicar. Lopedimos por Jesucristo, nuestroSe. .