Saint Cecilia was one of the most revered early virgin martyrs of Rome, as evidenced by her name appearing in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer 1). She is one of the seven women commemorated by name in the Roman Canon. There is evidence of a church named in her honour dating to the late fourth century. A feast day in honour of Saint Cecilia was celebrated as early as 545AD.
Cecilia was born in a wealthy Roman family and was a Christian by birth. She was forced to marry Valerius, a pagan nobleman. Cecilia promised to remain a virgin, and she was successful in persuading Valerius to respect her virginity on their wedding night. It is believed that Saint Cecilia was said to have heard heavenly music inside her heart.
Saint Cecilia continued the work of converting people to the Christian faith and of burying the Christian dead, even though it was against the law. Hundreds were baptized through her witness and strength of faith. She planned to have her home preserved as a church after her death. Her refusal to worship false gods and her burying of the dead lead to her arrest. She was brought to trial and sentenced to death. It took several days for her to die, and it is said that she converted many people who came to care for her as she was dying. Saint Cecilia died lying on her right side with her hands crossed in prayer. She was found dead with 3 fingers extended on her right hand and 1 finger on the other, symbolizing the Trinity in 3 Persons being only 1 God.