Thursday, May 6, 2010


Who is the patron saint of music?

My guess was Gregory, after all, Gregorian chant has been the foundation of so much liturgical music for 12 centuries. Who else could it be?

Well, the answer turns out to be slightly more complicated. According to the trivia question I heard at lunch, the patron saint of music is Saint Cecilia. It surprised me so much that I had to spend a few minutes online tonight looking it up. According to what I can find, I wasn't completely wrong - Gregory is the patron saint of musicians, while Cecilia is the patron saint of church music and poets. I was reminded of the series of church music books named after her and then read the story of her martyrdom and life, which was said to be full of the power of music.

Does such arcana truly matter? On the one hand, not at all. These are people who lived centuries ago, and my significant other would certainly argue that saints can quickly become inappropriate idols who distract us from the proper objects of worship. On the other hand, can't the saints and their stories help inspire our own faith? Besides, it's good to have an example of a pious, notable woman associated with church music as we approach Mothers' Day.

And if nothing else, maybe you'll get it right in a Trivial Pursuit game someday!


  1. It is said that while she was crucified and beheaded, she praised God, singing to Him. This definitely is an inspiration to my faith. Let us sing His praises not only in times of joy, but also in times of peril.

    "He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved." Psalm 62:6

  2. In a world where role models seem to be few and far between, recalling the good done by others is welcome to me. No, we probably should not pretend they were perfect, but they probably did something worthy of remembrance that others found uplifting.

  3. St. Joes has a small vocal ensemble named Cecilia's Song. That's how I already knew. That and those first 37 years being Catholic.