Feast of St Caecilia

Domenico Zampieri (or Domenichino; 1581 – 1641) 
Reading 3 for Matins on the saint:
Cecilia, a Roman virgin of noble birth, vowed her virginity to God at a very early age. Given in marriage against her will to Valerian, she persuaded him to leave her untouched and go to blessed Urban, the Pope, that when he had been baptized he might be worthy to see Cecilia's angelic protector. When Valerian had obtained this favour, he converted his brother Tiburtius to Christ, and a little later both were martyred under the prefect Almachius. But Cecilia was seized by the same prefect because she had distributed the two brothers' wealth to the poor, and orders were given to have her suffocated in a bath. When the heat dared not harm her, she was struck three times with an axe, and left half dead. After three days she received the palm of virginity and of martyrdom, and was buried in the cemetery of Callistus. Her body and those of Popes Urban and Lucius, and of Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus were transferred by Pope Paschal I to the church in the City dedicated to St. Cecilia.

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