November 22 is the feast of St. Cecilia, patron Saint of musicians.
Cecilia lived in Rome about 200 years after Christ. While she is one of the most popular saints from early Christianity, we don’t know a lot about her. We do know that she was prayerful — that she confronted challenging situations with songs of praise in her heart.
She married a Roman soldier, Valerian, and converted him to Christianity by her example. In fact, Valerian and his brother began helping Christians bury their dead, in defiance of Roman law — a decision that led to their martyrdom.
After their deaths, Cecilia continued to share her faith. Eventually she was also arrested and sentenced to death. Legend states that after surviving suffocating steam chambers and three beheading attempts, she continued to sing praises to God. When Cecilia died three days later, she was buried by the pope. She is the patron saint of musicians and has inspired countless musicians throughout the centuries — from Handel to the Foo Fighters.
Cecilia’s life reminds us that despite the trying circumstances we may confront, we can keep a song in our heart and inspire those around us to do the same. This playlist is comprised of female musicians from a variety of genres who, like Cecilia, have been sung their own songs inspired by God and his mysterious love.