Feast day: November 22
Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, singers, and poets. She lived in the second century and died a martyr. Although not much is known about her, a fifth-century legend holds that she had taken a vow of virginity and refused to consummate her marriage or make sacrifices to the Roman gods.
Because of her faith, the Romans condemned her to death during one of the persecutions of Christians. Her death was caused by attempts to suffocate and then behead her, although she survived for three days after these attempts.
Her association with music comes from a line in her biography, which said that at her wedding, “Cecilia sang [in her heart] to the Lord, saying: may my heart remain unsullied, so that I be not confounded.” She was chosen as the patron saint of the Academy of Music in Rome at its founding in 1584. (From The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Third Edition [Saint Mary’s Press])
(Image Jacques Blanchard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)