“Cecilia was a Roman girl of patrician family, who had been brought up as a Christian. She fasted often, and wore a coarse garment beneath her rich clothing. Although she wished to remain a virgin, her father betrothed her to a young pagan named Valerian.
“When the wedding day came, Cecilia sat apart from the guests, repeating psalms and praying. After the ceremony, when the guests had departed and she was alone with her husband, Cecilia made known her great desire to remain as she was, saying that she already had a lover, an angel of God, who was very jealous.
“Valerian, shaken by suspicion, fear, and anger, said to her: “Show me this angel. If he is of God, I shall refrain, as you wish, but if he is a human lover, you both must die.” Cecilia answered: “If you believe in the one true and living God and receive the water of baptism, then you shall see the angel.”
“Valerian assented, and following his wife’s directions sought out a bishop named Urban, who was in hiding among the tombs of the martyrs, for this was a time of persecutions. Valerian made his profession of faith and the bishop baptized him. When the young husband returned, he found an angel with flaming wings standing beside Cecilia. The angel placed chaplets of roses and lilies on their heads.
“The brother of Valerian, Tiburtius, was also converted; and after being baptized he too experienced many marvels.” (Lives of the Saints; Crawley)
November 22 is the Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
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