Holiday (I)

Of this Cecilia thus it is written in the Martyrologe by Ado, that Cecilie the Virgine after she brought Valerian her husband espoused, and Tiburtius his brother to the knowledge and fayth of Christ, and with her exhortacions had made them constant vnto martyrdome: after the suffering of them she was also apprehended by Almachius the ruler, and brought to the Idoles to do sacrifice: which thing when she abhorred to do, she should be presēted before the iudge to haue the condemnation of death. In the meane time the Sergeants and officers which were about her, beholding her comelye beuty, and the prudent behauiour in her conuersation, began with many persuasions of words to sollicite her mynde, to fauour her selfe, and that so excellent beutye, and not to cast her selfe away. &c. But she agayne so replyed to them with reasons and godly exhortatiōs, that by the grace of almighty God their harts began to kindle, and at length to yeld to that religion, whych before they did persecute. Which thing she perceiuing, desired of the iudge Almachius a little respite. Whych being graunted, she sendeth for Vrbanus the bishop home to her house, to stablish and grounde them in the fayth of Christ. And so were they, with diuers other at the same tyme baptised, both men and wemen, to the number (as the story saith) of. 400. persons, among whom was one Gordianus a noble mā. This done, this blessed martyr was brought before the iudge, wher she was condēned: then after was brought to þe house of þe Iudge, wher she was inclosed in a whote bathe, but she remainyng ther a whole daie and night without any hurt, as in a colde place, was broughte out agayne, and commaundement geuen that in the bath she should be beheaded: The executour is sayde to haue iiii. strokes at her necke, as yet her heade beynge not cut of, she (as the storye geueth) liued iii. dayes after. And so dyed thys holy virgyn martyre, whose bodye in the night season Vrbanus the Byshop tooke and buryed amonge the other byshops.

—John Foxe, Acts and Monuments
(Foxe’s Book of Martyrs) (1570 edition)

From the online variorum edition (in progress) produced by the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. (Previously: 1, 2.)

Leave a Reply