Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Santa Cecilia

I use to narrate her life to my students, every November the 22th: Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Today, I asked to the class: "Do you know? Today it is Saint Cecilia's day". To my astonishment, my students had never heard about her. I decided not to narrate her life to them. Anyway, they always find Saint Cecilia very dumb; she kept her virginity and she could not avoid to be beheaded and it looks like she could't sing or play the organ after all. I must tell my students that she actually sang while she was being beheaded. "And then the executioner did not kill her, at the last minute!". No, I answer, she was killed, what did you expect?. Naturally, she looks even dumber, what a fraud. Sometimes I change the ending: Saint Cecilia is about to be eaten by a lion. And then she starts to sing. The public is in awe, suspenseful. "And then the lion did not eat her!" I answer: but naturally, the lion ate her all the same. "And why is she the patron saint of music? She was dumb!".

4 comments:

Pat Ross-Ross said...

Well, you know, your students may have a point. Perhaps we can persuade the church to canonise Don Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa as a substitute? <very wide grin>

MaLj said...

That would be fair, too! There has to be at least one female and one male patron saint for every human activity! Not everyone feels comfortable talking about its delicate personal problems to a saint of the opposite sex.

Pat Ross-Ross said...

Well, Maria, it's more the point that, if the students thought Cecilia was dumb, they'd surely approve of Gesualdo - there was a man who could get away with murder...

MaLj said...

And that is the truly admirable (=saintly, in secular sense) type today: the smart and charming psychopath, who wins in all situations. Gesualdo was heroically musical, too, and used his good sense of future harmonic possiblity.
Pat, is it so that you missed the irony in my post because you maybe missed the discussion a while ago about personal pronouns?