Cecilia, one of the so-called saints of the Greek and Roman Calendar, is said to have suffered martyrdom nearly at the same time with Valerian, her husband, Tiburtius, his brother, and Maximus, an officer, about A.D. 230, under Alexander Severus, probably in some popular commotion and persecution, since that emperor was favorably inclined toward the Christians. The legendary accounts of her are not worthy of credit. As she is said to have sung praises with instrumental accompaniment just before her execution, she is regarded as the special patroness of church music. "St. Cecilia's Day" is still annually celebrated in England by a musical festival. Handel's "Messiah" was composed for it. Both Greeks and Latins celebrate her festival on the 22d of November. — A. Butler, Lives of Saints, Nov. 22; Landon, Eccl. Dict. s.v.

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