Starts: November 13th
Feastday: November 22nd
St. Cecilia was born in Rome to a noble family around AD 214.
As a girl, Cecilia made a vow of virginity to God. She spent her time composing songs in praise of God. Her family compelled her to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian however.
Cecilia told Valerian of her vow and that an angel was always at her side. She asked Valerian to respect her vow of virginity, even in marriage, or God would send her angel to harm him. Valerian believed her, and he honored her vow. Further, he was told that if he became a Christian, he would see Cecilia’s angel next to her.
Pope Urban baptized Valerian, and when he returned home, he saw Cecilia’s angel right next to her. He told all this to his brother, Tiburtius, who also became Catholic through Cecilia’s evangelization. Pope Urban then baptized Tiburtius, and he too could see the angel. It was discovered that Valerian and his brother were now Catholic, and they suffered martyrdom in the hands of the prefect Almachius.
Cecilia was arrested and when she refused to renounce her Catholic Faith, she was condemned to death by steam of the bath of her own house. But she remained unharmed by the fire, so a soldier was then ordered to kill her with a sword. He made three strokes with the sword against her head, but she still did not die for three days.
Her relics are kept in a shrine in the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Rome. In 1599, when her tomb was opened, her body was incorrupt.
She is the patroness of musicians.
I found this novena on the site of the Dominicans of St. Cecilia, aka the Nashville Dominicans. Please keep this faithful Order in your prayers!
Intro Prayer (to be said each day)
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us. (repeat after each line)
St. Cecilia, wise virgin,
St. Cecilia, whose heart burned with the fire of divine love,
St. Cecilia, apostle by your zeal and charity,
St. Cecilia, who converted your spouse and procured for him the crown of martyrdom,
St. Cecilia, who by your pleadings moved the hearts of pagans, and brought them into the true Church,
St. Cecilia, who did unceasingly see your guardian angel by your side,
St. Cecilia, who mingled your voice with the celestial harmonies of the virgins,
St. Cecilia, who by your melodious accents celebrated the praises of Jesus,
St. Cecilia, illustrious martyr of Jesus Christ,
St. Cecilia, who during three days suffered most excruciating torments,
St. Cecilia, consolation of the afflicted,
St. Cecilia, protectress of all who invoke you,
St. Cecilia, patroness of holy canticles,
St. Cecilia, special patroness and advocate of all singers, musicians, authors, and students,
We salute you, O Virgin, who gave your blood for the defense and faith of Jesus Christ.
Concluding Prayer (to be said each day)
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
God glorified St. Cecilia, And He crowned her virtues.
Let us pray, O Eternal God, who gave us in the person of St. Cecilia, a powerful protectress, grant that after having faithfully passed our days like herself, in innocence and holiness, we may one day attain the land of beatitude, where in concert with her, we may praise you and bless you forevermore in eternity. In particular, we ask her intercession for this intention (mention request here). Amen.