Sunday, November 21, 2010

St. Cecelia

From the Martyrology for 22 November:

St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr, who, on the 16th of September, purpled with her own blood, departed to her heavenly Spouse....

The collect for her festival would mark this as an early addition to the commemoration of the saints.

O God, which makest us to be glad with the yearly festival of blessed Cecilia thy Virgin and Martyr grant: we beseech thee; that as we do venerate her in our outward office, so may we follow the example of her godly conversation. Through....

Cecilia was early recognized as one of the most illustrious of virgin Martyrs. Therefore, along with Lucy, Agnes, and Agatha, her name is mentioned in the Gregorian Canon. But nothing can now be surely established concerning her, nor of her companions Valerian and Tiburtius, save that they were martyred and buried in Rome, in either the second or third century. The written Acts of St. Cecilia (on which this this Legend and the Propers of her Office are based) were probably compiled toward the end of the fifth century.

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