While there are many fables about Saint Cecilia, here is what is recognized as the truth:

Cecilia was born, lived and died in the third century. She loved to sing. She was one saint who believed that music was integral to the liturgy. Cecilia was engaged to a Roman named Valerian. He was martyred, however, along with his brother after he had converted to Christianity. Cecilia was struck in the neck three times with a sword. She suffered for three days before she finally died. While she was dying, she asked the pope to make her home into a church.

Cecilia’s feast day has been celebrated since 545. She is the patron saint of musicians.