One Minute Reflection – 22 November – St Cecilia Died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – Ecclesiasticus 51:13-17, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“But the wise took oil in their vessels” – Matthew 25:4
REFLECTION – “It is some great thing, some exceedingly great thing, that this oil signifies. Do you think it might be charity? If we try out this hypothesis, we hazard no precipitate judgement. I will tell you why charity seems to be signified by the oil. The Apostle says, “I will show you a still more excellent way.” “If I speak with the tongue of mortals and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” This is charity. It is “that way above the rest,” which is, with good reason, signified by the oil. For oil swims above all liquids. Pour in water and pour in oil upon it, the oil will swim above. If you keep the usual order, it will be uppermost, if you change the order, it will be uppermost. “Charity never fails!” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor (Sermon 93).
PRAYER – O God, Who gladden us by the annual feast of blessed Cecilia, Thy Virgin and Martyr, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may by virtuous conduct follow her, whom we venerate in this sacred rite. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
St Agabbas of Syria St Amphilochius of Iconium St Ananias of Arbela St Apphia St Eugenia of Matera St Christian of Auxerre St Dayniolen the Younger St Joan of Montefalco St Mark of Antioch St Maurus of North Africa St Philemon St Pragmatius of Autun (Died c 520) Bishop St Sabinian the Abbot St Stephen of Antioch
Thought for the Day – 22 November – The Memorial of St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – Patron of Musicians
Sing to God with Songs of Joy
Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from his Discourse on Psalm 32
Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to Him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to Him a new song. Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song. A new man, a new covenant—a new song. This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it, the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven. To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song. Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.
Sing to Him a new song, sing to Him with joyful melody. Everyone of us tries to discover how to sing to God. You must sing to Him but you must sing well. He does not want your voice to come harshly to His ears, so sing well, brothers!
If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art. An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you. Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes? When will you be able to offer Him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?
See how He Himself provides you with a way of singing. Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure. Sing to Him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.
But how is this done? You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart. Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress. Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in sung words, yet shortly there is a change. As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation. Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.
Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God Himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. Sing to Him with jubilation.
St Amphilochius of Iconium
St Ananias of Arbela
St Benignus of Milan
St Christian of Auxerre
St Dayniolen the Younger
St Mark of Antioch
St Maurus of North Africa St Pedro Esqueda Ramirez (1887-1927) Martyr
St Pragmatius of Autun
St Sabinian the Abbot
Stephen of Antioch
Apostles of Bulgaria – 7 saints
Martyrs of Armenia – 8 beati: A group of eight Franciscans martyred in the region of Mujuk-Dersi, Armenia (modern Turkey) by invading Islamic Turks who tortured them, demanded they convert, and murdered them when they did not. They were
• Baldji Oghlou Ohannes
• David Oghlou David
• Dimbalac Oghlou Wartavar
• Geremia Oghlou Boghos
• Khodianin Oghlou Kadir
• Kouradji Oghlou Tzeroum
• Salvatore Lilli
• Toros Oghlou David
They were martyred on 22 November 1895 in Mujuk-Dersi, Armenia (in modern Turkey) and Beatified on 3 October 1982 by St Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales – 85 beati: 85 English, Scottish and Welsh Catholics who were martyred during the persecutions by Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are commemorated together on 22 November.
• Blessed Alexander Blake • Blessed Alexander Crow • Blessed Antony Page • Blessed Arthur Bell • Blessed Charles Meehan • Blessed Christopher Robinson • Blessed Christopher Wharton • Blessed Edmund Duke • Blessed Edmund Sykes • Blessed Edward Bamber • Blessed Edward Burden • Blessed Edward Osbaldeston • Blessed Edward Thwing • Blessed Francis Ingleby • Blessed George Beesley • Blessed George Douglas • Blessed George Errington • Blessed George Haydock • Blessed George Nichols • Blessed Henry Heath • Blessed Henry Webley • Blessed Hugh Taylor • Blessed Humphrey Pritchard • Blessed John Adams • Blessed John Bretton • Blessed John Fingley • Blessed John Hambley • Blessed John Hogg • Blessed John Lowe • Blessed John Norton • Blessed John Sandys • Blessed John Sugar • Blessed John Talbot • Blessed John Thules • Blessed John Woodcock • Blessed Joseph Lambton • Blessed Marmaduke Bowes • Blessed Matthew Flathers • Blessed Montfort Scott • Blessed Nicholas Garlick • Blessed Nicholas Horner • Blessed Nicholas Postgate • Blessed Nicholas Woodfen • Blessed Peter Snow • Blessed Ralph Grimston • Blessed Richard Flower • Blessed Richard Hill • Blessed Richard Holiday • Blessed Richard Sergeant • Blessed Richard Simpson • Blessed Richard Yaxley • Blessed Robert Bickerdike • Blessed Robert Dibdale • Blessed Robert Drury • Blessed Robert Grissold • Blessed Robert Hardesty • Blessed Robert Ludlam • Blessed Robert Middleton • Blessed Robert Nutter • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Thorpe • Blessed Roger Cadwallador • Blessed Roger Filcock • Blessed Roger Wrenno • Blessed Stephen Rowsham • Blessed Thomas Atkinson • Blessed Thomas Belson • Blessed Thomas Bullaker • Blessed Thomas Hunt • Blessed Thomas Palaser • Blessed Thomas Pilcher • Blessed Thomas Pormort • Blessed Thomas Sprott • Blessed Thomas Watkinson • Blessed Thomas Whitaker • Blessed Thurstan Hunt • Blessed William Carter • Blessed William Davies • Blessed William Gibson • Blessed William Knight • Blessed William Lampley • Blessed William Pike • Blessed William Southerne • Blessed William Spenser • Blessed William Thomson •
22 November 1987 by St Pope John Paul II.
Thought for the Day – 22 November – The Memorial of St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr
For the early Christians, their faith was an amazing revelation that brought light and joy into a world of gloom and uncertainty. It is should not be difficult for us to truly realise how startling this must’ve been in those pagan times, for how different are these times of ours, which seem to be the return of barbarism. We should reflect on what the faith means to us now, in our modern world and perhaps, we will begin to understand this stupendous courage and wonderful joy of the martyrs.
One Minute Reflection – 22 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 19:41-44, Thursday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr
And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace!”…Luke 19:41-42
REFLECTION – “I leaned out of the window… The sun was beginning to rise. A great peace reigned over nature. Everything began to wake up – earth, sky, birds. Everything began, little by little, to wake up under God’s order. Everything obeyed His divine laws without complaint or sudden spurts, gently, smoothly, the light as much as the darkness, the blue sky as much as the hard earth covered with morning dew. How good God is, I thought! There is peace everywhere except in the human heart.
And delicately, gently, by means of this sweet and peaceful dawn, God taught me, too, to obey – a very great peace filled my soul. I thought how God alone is good, how all is ordained by Him, how nothing is of importance in what people do or say and how, where I am concerned, there must be nothing else in the world but God. God who will arrange everything for my good. God who causes the sun to rise each morning, who makes the ice melt, who cause the birds to sing and changes the clouds of heaven in a thousand soft colours. God who offers me a little corner on this earth for prayer, who gives me a little corner in which to wait for what I hope.
God is so good to me that, in the silence, He speaks to my heart and teaches me, little by little, sometimes in tears, always with the cross, to detach myself from creatures, not to look for perfection except in Him and showing me Mary and saying to me : “Here is the only perfect creature, you will find in her the love and charity you fail to find in men. What are you complaining about, Brother Raphael? Love me; suffer with me, it is I, Jesus!”... St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
PRAYER – Lord our God, in Your mercy listen to our prayers! Teach us the peace of Your love. Guide us in the ways of Your Commandments. Let the path laid out by Your Son, be our Light and our Joy. Grant that by the prayers of Your Martyr, St Cecilia and all Your Saints, we may receive strength for our journey. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
Saint of the Day – 22 November – St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin & Martyr – Patronages: Hymns, musicians, poets, City of Albi in France, Mar del Plata, Argentina, Academy of Music in Rome, chastity and purity, composers, musical instrument manufacturers, 3 Diocese, City of Acquasparta, Italy. St Cecilia, is the Patroness of Musicians because it is written that as the musicians played at her wedding she “sang in her heart to the Lord”.
With many of the early church martyrs, there are often stories and legends but not much historical information. Saint Cecilia probably lived in the third century and tradition says she died about 177 – 230 AD. Although details of her life may be unknown to us, Saint Cecilia was one of the most revered early virgin martyrs of Rome, as evidenced by her name appearing in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer 1). She is one of the seven women commemorated by name in the Roman Canon. There is evidence of a church named in her honour dating to the late fourth century. A feast day in honour of Saint Cecilia was celebrated as early as 545.
Cecilia was born in a wealthy Roman family and was a Christian by birth. Her family gave her in marriage to Valerius, a pagan nobleman. Cecilia promised to remain a virgin and she was successful in persuading Valerius to respect her virginity on their wedding night. Later, Valerius was converted to Catholicism along with his brother, Tiburtius.
These two brothers dedicated themselves to burying the Christian martyrs, which was illegal. They were arrested and sentenced to death for refusing to renounce their religion.
Cecilia continued the work of converting people to the Christian faith and of burying the Christian dead, even though it was against the law. Hundreds were baptised through her witness and strength of faith. She planned to have her home preserved as a church after her death. Her refusal to worship false gods and her burying of the dead lead to her arrest.
Saint Cecilia was brought to trial and sentenced to death. It took several days for her to die and it is said that she converted many people who came to care for her as she was dying. Saint Cecilia died lying on her right side with her hands crossed in prayer. The position of her fingers—three extended on her right hand and one on the left—were her final silent profession of faith in the Holy Trinity, Three Persons in one God. Saint Cecilia was buried in the Catacomb of Saint Callistus.
In the Middle Ages, Saint Cecilia became a very popular saint. There is a story that Saint Cecilia was said to have heard heavenly music inside her heart when she was forced to marry the pagan Valerian. During her wedding, Cecilia sat and sang to God in her heart. Thus, she was declared to be the patron of musicians. Musical compositions, poems, art, and festivals have grown out of this story.
A few examples of the many artistic works about Saint Cecilia:
The first record of a music festival in her honor was held at Évreux in Normandy in 1570.
Chaucer commemorates Saint Cecilia in his “Second Nun’s Tale.”
John Dryden’s poem “A Song for Saint Cecilia’s Day” was set to music by Handel in his “Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day.”
Charles Gounod composed the Saint Cecilia Mass.
Benjamin Britten composed the “Hymn to Saint Cecilia.”
Saint Cecilia reminds us of the ways that our music and art can lead us to praise God.
The Sisters of Saint Cecilia, religious sisters, shear the lambs’ wool used to make the palliums of new metropolitan archbishops. The lambs are raised by the Cistercian Trappist Fathers of the Tre Fontane (Three Fountains) Abbey in Rome. The lambs are blessed by the Pope every year on 21 January, the Feast of the martyr Saint Agnes. The pallia are given by the Pope to the new metropolitan archbishops on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June.
St Cecilia’s body was exhumed in the 1599 and is the first instance in the Church of a saint being incorrupt. Her remains are located at the Church of St Cecilia in the Trastevere region of Rome, where a beautiful Statue depicting the position in which her body lay as she died by Stefano Maderno (1600), one of the most famous examples of Baroque sculpture. The pavement in front of the statue encloses a marble slab with Maderno’s sworn statement that he has recorded the body as he saw it when the tomb was opened in 1599. The statue depicts the three axe strokes described in the 5th-century account of her martyrdom. It also is meant to underscore the incorruptibility of her body, which miraculously still had congealed blood after centuries,
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