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CECILIA

According to the purely legendary passio dated to the late 5th c., since it depends on Victor of Vita, Cecilia was a Roman virgin of the noble family of the Caecilii. She was beheaded together with her fiancé Valerian and his brother Tiburtius, but we do not know under which emperor. She was buried in the catacomb of Callistus in a crypt retro sanctos of the 4th c., behind the crypt of the popes. It is certain that there was a titulus in Trastevere, whose foundress was a certain Cecilia; the author intends to write a history of this title, identifying a certain Cecilia from the catacomb, believed to be a martyr, with the foundress of the church in Trastevere. All this is not easily explained; the mention in the Mart. hier. Romae Caeciliae virginis perhaps indicates the day of the dedication of the Titulus Caeciliae, where in 545 Pope Vigilius celebrated Cecilia’s dies natalis Duchesne LP 1, 297. 7th-c. pilgrims visited the tomb of the virgin martyr on the Appian Way CCL 175, 308, 317, 337. In the 8th c. the cantantibus organis Cecilia virgo soli Domino decantabat of the legend, describing her wedding, entered the liturgy as an antiphon: thus Cecilia became the patron of sacred music. Cecilia enjoyed great popularity; a number of Roman churches were dedicated to her. The oldest depictions of Cecilia are in the mosaics of S. Apollinare Nuovo at Ravenna and in the Euphrasian basilica at Porec; another is in Santa Maria Antiqua at Rome. BHL 1495-1500; BHG 382; Verzeichnis 55; BS 3, 1064-1086; BBKL 1, 840-841; LCI 2, 456-463; LMA 2, 1343-1345; W. De Grü- neisen, Sainte Marie Antique, Rome 1911, 514-516; C. Huelsen, Le chiese di Roma nel medio evo, Florence 1926 repr. Rome 2000; F. Lanzoni, I titoli presbiterali di Roma antica nella storia e nella leggenda: RivAC 2 1925 195-257; H. Delehaye, Étude sur le légendier romain, Brussels 1936 repr. 1968, 73-96; A. Amore, I martiri di Roma, Rome 1975, 144-156; B. Kuhn-Forte, Handbuch der Kirchen Roms 4, Vienna 1997, 279-346; R. Aigrain, L’hagiographie, Brussels 2 2000, 149-150; 284-285.

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