Remembering St Cecilia on November 22

Celebrate the patron saint of music by making your own

The feast day of St Cecilia is coming up on November 22. Cecilia is known as the patron saint of music because, when the musicians played on her wedding day, it is said that she sang in her heart to the Lord.

St Cecilia is said to have been born in Rome during the 2nd Century to a wealthy family. In her youth she was arranged to be married to a man named Valerian. She told Valerian that an angel watched over her. Valerian wanted to see the angel, but Cecilia said he could only see if he believed in one God and was baptised. So Cecilia sent him to Pope Urban (223-230) who baptised him.

When he returned to Cecilia he saw, as she prayed, an angel by her side holding two crowns made out of flowers. The angel crowned Valerian and Cecilia before vanishing and this had a deep impact on their lives after this. Soon after, Valerian and his brother devoted themselves to burying the Christian martyrs who were sentenced to death by the prefect of the city.


Cecilia was devoted to preaching and converted 400 people whom the Pope baptised. The prefect of the city, unhappy with her success, had her arrested and sentenced to death also. However, the executioner was unsuccessful in killing her immediately and she suffered for three days before dying. But Cecilia preached the whole time during those three days and continued to convert people who came to see her.

Prayers to St Cecilia ask God’s blessings on musicians and the hymns they proclaim to Him.

Cecilia’s feast day is celebrated with music festivals.

This feast day, why not perform your own mini concert with family and friends to honour her? You can also make a music box for keeping prayers to St Cecilia. Cover a small square or rectangular box of any shape with music manuscript.

Tape or glue a picture or medal of St Cecilia inside.

She is usually represented in art playing an organ or holding a lute so you can always draw a small picture of her holding your favourite instrument.

If you play a musical instrument and have an exam or performance coming up, write the name of the piece of music and place this inside the box the night before.