This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

22nd November, St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

Born at Rome, of the illustrious family of the Coecilii, Cecilia as a child consecrated her virginity to God. Forced to marry Valerian, a young pagan, she said to him: "Valerian, I am placed under the guardianship of an angel who protects my virginity." Valerian declared that he would believe in Jesus Christ if he saw the angel. Cecilia sent him first to Pope Urban, in the Catacombs, to be baptized. Valerian saw the angel, and got his brother Tiburtius to be baptized; he also saw the angel. A short time after, both brothers were martyred under the prefect Almachius (feast day 14th April). Finally the latter arrested Cecilia and ordered her to be put to death in her house. This was about AD 230.

Her body was discovered in 1599 by Cardinal Sfondrati, just as it was at the moment of her death, in her house transformed into a church, in the Trastavere. Here is held the station on the Wednesday in the second week of Lent. The name of St Cecilia is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, in the second list of saints.

"At the sound of musical instruments," says the first antiphon at Vespers, "the virgin Cecilia sang to God in her heart." On this account she has been chosen as the patroness of musicians.

Loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum, et non confundebar: et meditabar in mandatis tuis, quae dilexi nimis. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed: I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:46-47,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos ánnua beátae Caecíliae Vírginis et Mártyris tuae solemnitáte laetíficas : da, ut, quam venerámur offício, étiam piae conversatiónis sequámur exémplo.
O God who dost gladden us by the annual festival of blessed Cecilia, Thy virgin and martyr: grant that we who revere her with our service, may also follow the example of her pious life.

Vírginis Proles Opiféxque Matris,
Virgo quem gessit, peperítque Virgo:
Vírginis partos cánimus decóra
Morte triúmphos.

Son of a Virgin, Maker of thy Mother,
Thou, Rod and Blossom from a Stem unstained,
Thou, King of Virgins, hearken as we honour
Virginal glories.
(Hymn from Matins)

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