Wednesday of Week II of Lent

One of the original 25 parish churches in Rome, the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Trastevere is located in the quiet Roman neighbourhood of Trastevere, on the west bank of the Tiber River.

The famous saint is the patroness of musicians. She was arranged to marry to a pagan nobleman, but she had vowed to God that she would remain a virgin. At first angry, her fiance was eventually converted to Christianity. Soon afterwards, St. Cecilia suffered martyrdom following her husband, around the year 230 AD.

St. Cecilia was at first buried in Catacombs of St. Callixtus, but later transferred to this church after Pope Paschal I had rebuilt it in 822. During the transfer, her body was found to be incorrupt. Her tomb was once again opened in 1595, and was still incorrupt. She had two fingers stretched out in one hand and one finger in the other, signifying her belief in the Holy Trinity. The sight was sculpted by Stefano Maderno and placed under the main altar in the basilica over her entombed body. A copy of the statue can be found at St. Callixtus Catacombs. 

She is the patroness of musicians and Church music, because she sang to God when musicians were playing at her wedding and when she was beheaded. Her memorial is celebrated on 22 November in the General Roman Calendar, and she is one of the seven female saints other than the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorated in the Roman Canon.

The Jesuit Archbishop emeritus of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Martini, is the Cardinal-Priest of the Titular Church, succeeding two former archbishops of Chicago.

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