Sunday, February 19, 2012

St. Cecilia's Basilica (Rome, Italy)

While we were in Rome, we were given some free time to roam (ha! Roam in Rome) and a group of us wanted to go to St. Cecilia’s Basilica. She is the patron saint of music.
Here’s a picture of the basilica. I’m not sure if this is hers or if she shares it with another saint. It is beautifully landscaped outside, although the fountain was a bit green, and was no longer running.

I love love love the fresco on the ceiling of the basilica. It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but it’s pretty much a picture of heaven and music. (I’m very into music, which is why she is such a special saint to me).

We decided as a group to go down to the chapel and catacombs beneath the basilica. We paid the nuns our 2.50 Euros and went downstairs. Since many of us didn’t yet know the story of St. Cecelia, we had one of our friends (who knew a lot about her) to tell us her story. Here’s my paraphrased version: St. Cecelia was a well wanted maiden, and this guy tried to force her to marry him. Eventually the government got involved and she kept resisting. Finally, they took a sword to her neck. She lay there almost decapitated for three days – and sang the whole three days before she died. That’s why she’s the patron saint of music. If you see statues of her, you can also see that one hand has two fingers up, and the other has only one. She tried to convey the idea of the trinity before it was widely accepted. The guy who did this to her was so moved by her love of the holy spirit, that he ended up becoming a saint as well. I would look her up though, because I don’t think my story did her justice.

Here’s a picture of the ceilings covered in mosaics in the underground chapel.

A statue of St. Cecelia.

Another cool mosaic.

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