Saint Cecilia was a virgin and patroness of church music who died in Rome. Various historical accounts have been written about her with the most well known being Martyrologium Hieronymianum. Saint Cecilia is one of the saints who had great powers in music. Historical sources postulate that Saint Cecilia had a call for singing Heavenly music (Gueranger 61). It is for this reason that she became the patroness of church music. Her divine call to sing can be compared with the divine call of Jesus to save human kind from sins.
Comparisons of Saint Cecilia and Jesus Christ
There are numerous aspects of Saint Cecilia’s life that are similar to those of Jesus’ life. However, some aspects of their lives differ.
Saint Cecilia’s exact date of birth is not known, though some historians have believed it to be in the second century (Parker 9). Likewise, Jesus’ date of birth is merely estimated to have occurred between 6 and 5 B.C. According to church history, she was born in a noble manner just as Jesus was born in a cattle shed.
Saint Cecilia was born in a wealthy family with strong Christian background. In contrast, Jesus was born in the poor family and his parents were well rooted in Jewish traditions. Jesus’ father, Joseph, was a carpenter by profession, while there is no account of the occupation of his mother, Holy Mary. Both Saint Cecilia and Jesus were the only children in their families.
Although Saint Cecilia was well educated in the principles and ideal practices of Christian faith, Jesus was uneducated. It is also believed that she married a pagan called Valerian. She, however, vowed her virginity to God. On their wedding night, she disclosed to Valerian her wishes on purity and sent him to Pope Urban to receive baptism. In contrast, Jesus did not get married to any woman. It is, however, evident that John the Baptist was sent to baptize people ahead of Jesus’ coming. He himself also baptized people in River Jordan. Hence both the Saint and Jesus believed in baptism as a way of gaining purity and closeness to God.
Divine Life of God
Saint Cecilia dedicated her life to God at very tender age. She vowed to retain her virginity as a symbol of purity and living a Godly life. Her vow to virginity was compelled by her parents. In the same way, Jesus dedicated his life to God and referred to himself as the Son of God in various occasions.
Saint Cecilia’s vow to chastity was challenged by her parents who forced her to marry a noble pagan man called Valerian. Valerian did not want to force Saint Cecilia to break her chastity promise, so he agreed to marry her regardless of the vow. Jesus Christ’s mission of spreading the gospel was equally challenged by his parents who viewed him as a young boy with no sufficient understanding and knowledge of the Jewish traditions.
Saint Cecilia forced Valerian and his brother to be converted to Christianity, even though Christianity was illegal in Rome at that time. The two brothers were thereafter discovered and martyred. Jesus also converted Jewish leaders to Christianity. Most of the converts during Jesus’ time were viewed as outcasts and were often killed.
During the three days before death, Saint Cecilia oversaw the conversion of people into Christianity. In addition, she gave out her assets to help the poor. She also donated her home to the religious authorities to be used as a church. Jesus, however, did not have any material possessions and, thus, had no donations before his death. Saint Cecilia praised God by singing to him, while Jesus praised God through the gospels. Both wore sack-clothes, fasted and prayed in hopes of keeping their promises and achieving their missionary goals. Both Saint Cecilia and Jesus received God’s anointing and crowning by God’s angels.
Saint Cecilia was killed after being arrested. After the arrest, she was taken to the city’s prefect who ordered to kill her through suffocation in a closed bathroom. She was closed in a bathroom but stayed for one night and one day without dying, after which the city prefect ordered that she should be beheaded. The solders stroke her three times using an axe, but they did not succeed in cutting her head off, so they ran away after severely wounding her. She hanged on life for another three days preaching and singing to God.
Jesus’ death was almost similarly to Saint Cecilia’s death. He was also arrested and taken before King Pilate for judgement. He was tried before the King, who then ordered his killing. Before the soldiers could kill him, Jesus was stroked severally and had severe wounds. He kept on praying to His father in Heaven during this time of hardship. He was then buried just as Saint Cecilia. On the third day, Jesus resurrected from the tomb and reappeared to Mary Magdalene and some other women. Correspondingly, Saint Cecilia also reappeared to Pope Paschal in a spirit form when he was looking for her relics at the cemetery. It was believed that Saint Cecilia was buried in a catacomb after her death.
Celebration of Life after Death
Both Jesus and Saint Cecilia had their lives celebrated after their deaths. Saint Cecilia’s feast day is celebrated globally by the Roman Catholics, Anglican and Orthodox churches on every 22nd day of November. Similarly, Jesus’ day of birth, resurrection and ascension to heaven are celebrated as Christmas day, Good Friday and Easter Monday by present-day Christians. Various songs have been sung in honor of both Saint Cecilia and Jesus. Numerous artists have drawn countless paintings of their portraits, and poems have been written to celebrate their lives. For example, Saint Cecilia’s life has been celebrated by paintings of Raphael, commonly referred to as The Ecstasies of St. Cecilia. Another example is a popular Swedish song named The Shrine of Saint Cecilia, which was written in honor of Saint Cecilia (Lovewell 134).
In conclusion, both Saint Cecilia and Jesus suffered from the faith they had chosen. Both Saint Cecilia and Jesus have had immense impact and influence on the lives of contemporary Christians.