1000 Goodyear Boulevard
Picayune, Mississippi  39466

St. Cecilia

Born: unknown

Died: c.177

Canonized: pre-Congregation

Feast Day: November 22

Patron Saint of: musicians

Born of a wealthy Roman family, Celilia's marriage, as was the custom of the time, was arranged. Her husband was to be a young Roman of equal nobility. The arrangement was made by the families despite her pronounced vow of virginity. She convinced her groom to respect that vow throughout their marriage. Soon after their wedding, Cecilia, with the aide of her guardian angel, converted her husband to Christianity. Cecilia's husband and his brother were persecuted and were forced to renounce their faith; when they refused, they were promptly put to death and hurriedly buried. Cecilia removed their bodies from their shallow graves and buried them with a proper Christian ceremony. Upon discovering this, the state arrested Cecilia where she was given the same choice as her late husband and her brother-in-law - she also chose to remain faithful to her God. Because of her family wealth, her age and obvious beauty, her accusers decided to carry out the execution quietly, out of the public eye. She was locked in a vapor bath to die, but when they executioners returned a day later, she was unbelievably still in perfect health. A beheading executioner was then sent, but when he failed to remove her head within the prescribed law's limit of three blows, he left, deed incomplete. Cecilia remained on the floor with a mortal blow to her neck, still alive and fully conscious. When she was found, her head faced the floor as she lay on her right side, exposing the injury to her neck. One hand was found with three fingers extended, the other hand with one finger extended - a final and everlasting testimony of her faith in the Holy Trinity. St. Cecilia is the earliest recorded incorruptible; her remains were exhumed 1500 years after her death and her body was found in precisely the same position as when originally buried.

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