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22.11.04

Happy Feast Day, Musicians!

Saint CeciliaAlthough most Americans, even many Catholics, are not all that familiar with the Sanctorale, the yearly cycle of saints' feast days, it is a part of daily life in other parts of the world. (In France, most TV meteorologists mention what saints are honored on the following day, along with the weather report, so that you know who to wish a happy feast day to tomorrow.) November 22 is the feast of Saint Cecilia, a martyr who is almost certainly legendary but whose feast was important in Rome beginning in the late 5th century. According to her vita, she heard heavenly music in her heart at the moment she was married. Because she was usually depicted in art either playing an organ or with organ-pipes (or another instrument) in her hand, she is now regarded as the patroness of musicians. (The image shown here comes from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, at the University of Notre Dame.)

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