We know that St. Caecilia was martyred as a Christian around the year 180. One story, that dates only from the year 500, has it that after vowing to remain a virgin, she was forced into a marriage. Then, on the weddingday she talked her husband into honoring her virginity; and at that she broke into singing a beautiful song. It is that legend that has her being honored as the patron saint of musicians.
We might benefit from turning our attention away from legendary saints, looking instead for inspiration from people around us who do their best to lead saintly lives.
Locally, that thought could have us turning our attention to the ladies of St. Caecilia’s Circle at St. Paul’s parish. Up to sixty years ago the dozen Ladies Guild circles at St. Paul’s were designated simply by numbers. Then, in 1953 two numbered circles came together to form St. Caecilia’s.
I became acquainted with this St. Caecilia’s Circle when I came to Sr. Paul’s as pastor thirty years ago. They met once a week to sew gifts to be sold for the parish. And what struck me with admiration was the great quality of the apron, tablecloths, and things like books for toddlers to chew on to get them attached to reading.
The Circle members are getting on now. Vicky is ninety-eight, Lois ninety-six, Gladys maybe ninety-four. I was just talking with Anita Thompson; and she said she had worked as a pharmacist for fifty-six years.
They are all saintly in such ordinary ways as raising kids the right way, not letting drinking or smoking get a hold on them, and drawing genuine happiness out of their being Catholics.