St Cecilia: Patron Saint of Musicians
November 22nd is the feast day of St Cecilia, patron saint of musicians.
And yet how St Cecilia came to be their patron saint is possibly based on a misinterpretation of a passage in an account of her life: 'Cantantibus organis illa in corde suo soi domino decantabat' (While the musicians played at her wedding she sang in her heart only to God). The word 'organis' seems to have led to her being thought of as an organist and an organ became one of her attributes.
When Sebastian Conca (1680-1764) painted the Coronation of St Cecilia (c. 1727) for the ceiling of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere he included a small pipe organ. And there are many other images of organs in the church.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
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