Cecilia, Saint Biography

Cecilia, Saint

Roman martyr
Born: 2nd or 3rd century

A Roman martyr, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music in the Catholic tradition. Her name is often taken by musical associations. In paintings—most famously in a portrait by Raphael > she is often shown at the organ. In literature, St. Cecilia is the subject of the Second Nun's Tale in the Canterbury Tales, of John Dryden's “A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687,” and of Alexander Pope's “Ode for Music on St. Cecilia's Day.” Dryden's song was set to music by Handel. Another English form of her name is Cecily. Her feast day is Nov. 22.