St. Cecelia is well-known as
the patron saint of music and musicians ns and is often pictured playing the
organ which many consider incongruous since St. Cecelia died in the fifth
century and the models incorporated in portraits of the saint are medieval
or renaissance versions. . (Tthe organ was invented by the Greeks (who
called it the hydralulos) in the third century B.C.This however, is only a
minor inconsistency in the life of St. Cecelia whose very existence some
The romanticized mythology about Cecelia's life is similar to the lives of
other women saints in the early centuries of Christianity. According to her
biographers, she was married to a Roman pagan named Valarian and on their
wedding night she told Valarian that she had to remain a virgin and that if
he attempted to have sex with her, an angel would do bad things to him. Not
only did her promise of angelic retribution result in keeping her virginity
in tact, but the threat also resultedin Valarian's' conversion. Cecelia
allegedly also converted Valarian's brother, Tiburtius, and both brothers
were subsequently beheaded.
Cecelia was condemned to be boiled to death. The Romans apparently had a
penchant for applying culinary techniques to the extinction of the
Christians. After a day and a half in boiling water, Cecelia was still alive
and an executioner was discharged to behead her. He axed her in the neck
three times before she died while Cecilia's sang to God, s which is the
basis for her musical connection..
Some of the music dedicated to Cecilia includes Benjamin Britten's Hymn to
St. Cecilia , A Hymn for St Cecilia by Herbert Howells, a mass by Alessandro
Scarlatti, Charles Gounod's Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cécile, Hail, bright
Cecilia! by Henry Purcell, and an opera, Cecilia, by Licinio Refice, SJ
(1934).The American pop-rock band Jars of Clay opened their 2007 Christmas
Songs album with an instrumental track titled "The Gift of St. Cecelia."
There are many musical organizations named after St. Cecelia.
One of the oldest is the ultra-elitist St. Cecelia Society of Charleston
which was founded in 1735 and is still going strong, due in part to their
famous punch that they serve for their annual fete at the Hibernian Hall in
sliced and seeded
1 quart of brandy 1 pineapple, pealed,
cored, and sliced
1-1/2 lbs sugar
3 cups of water
1 quart of tea
pint of rum
1 quart apricot brandy
2 quarts of champagne
2 quarts club soda
- Cover lemons with brandy and allow to steep for 24 hours/
- Dissolve sugar in water in a saucepan over high heat to make a sugar syrup.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place pineapple in punch bowl. Add lemon and
brandy mixture, sugar syrup. tea, rum, and apricot brandy.. , When ready to serve, add ice, champagne