Friday, August 02, 2002

More about St. Cecilia:

Posted by one of my rare visitors, but commenting the wrong entry, so I thought I'd repost for him.

My wife and I just finished reading her biography by the Abbe Gueranger.

As a matter of fact we know a great deal about her *with certainty." Cecelia did not refuse marriage, but on her wedding day after being escorted to the nuptial chamber she confided to her husband Valerian that she had vowed her virginity of Jesus. There follows the story of the conversion of Valerian and his brother Tiburtius, their trial, the conversion of the prefect's notary Maximus, the beheading of the two brothers, the thrashing to death with leaded whips of Maximus, Cecelia's trial, attempted suffocation in the steam bath of her palace, her attempted beheading.

This story was confirmed by the discovery of her incorrupt body in the catacombs of S. Callisto by Pope Paschal in 800, details of which confirm the substance of the Acts of St. Cecelia. Her body was translated to her palace- now basilica- and once more was discovered incorrupt underneath the altar by Cdl Sfondrato 800 years later. Nearby were the bones of two men of similar build who had been beheaded, and that a third not beheaded by whose skull had been fractured, presumably by the leaded whips. She was discovered in the same attitude that pascal had her in, as described in the Acts, on her side, knees slightly drawn up, head turned down... This was captured by the famous sculpture of Stephen Maderno who Sfondrato had summoned to witness the disinterment. Her garments were as described in the Acts. There are many other points of confirmation of her Acts, too numerous to mention here. It all happened. St. Cecelia, pray for us.

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