Church of Saint Stephen
Little is known about Cecilia. She lived in the second century during the time of the great persecutions. For three hundred years, the Church lived in secret. Persecution made it difficult for bishops, priests, and laypeople to reveal that they were Christians. Many devoted and generous Christians opened their homes as places where Mass could be celebrated and the poor or sick Christians could come for help.
Cecilia's parents were wealthy Christians, who belonged to Rome's upper class. Her father arranged for her to marry Valerian, a man who was not a Christian. She did not want to do this, but to be obiedient to her father, went through with the marriage.
As time went by Cecilia converted Valerian, his brother, and the guard who arrested them, and they were baptized. All three men were beheaded together, as was Cecilia.
Cecilia's pictures remind that the Church has always recognized the value of music and song. Some thoughts and feelings are best expressed in music. They say when you sing, you are praying twice.
Cecilia, Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus' bodies were moved to the basilica built over Cecilia's house. They are still there today, under the high altar of the chapel.
Cecilia is the patron saint of music, musicians, and poets.