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St. Cecilia
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Religious Figure
    ( -circa 117)
    Resided in Rome
    Represented in art and iconography by musical instruments
    Executed by decapitation by order of the Roman prefect Turcius Almachius
    Feast day is November 22
    She insisted on staying a virgin after marriage (but her husband was fine with this).
    She is the patron saint of musicians, yet her biographies make little mention of music.
    Her followers eagerly collected her blood with cloths as she lay dying.
    As with many early saints, it is hard to separate fact from legend.
    When her remains went missing in ninth century Rome, the Lombards, a Germanic tribe, were wrongly blamed.
    She is often portrayed playing a type of organ that didn’t exist in her time.
    Her ancestors played an important role in Roman history.
    She converted her husband and brother-in-law.
    She was arrested for giving her husband and brother-in-law Christian burials after they were martyred.
    She died three days after a botched attempt to behead her.
    Her body reportedly had not decayed when her tomb was opened in 1599.
    She inspired Geoffrey Chaucer, Raphael, John Dryden, George Frideric Handel and W.H. Auden to create some of their greatest works.

Credit: Georgina


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