I bet you are waiting to hear me list “Saint Cecilia” as one of them. Well, that wasn’t what I was going to do! Oh yes. No doubt, Saint Cecilia is known as the patron saint of musicians, but she wasn’t a musician. She got that patronage because there is a song or saying about her singing and playing the organ in heaven for the angels. Also, during that time she was betrothed to marry a man named Valerian, at the wedding party she went off by herself. She insisted on sitting alone, then she heard heavenly music in her heart and spent hours singing praises to the Lord on her wedding day and that’s that. She really had nothing whatsoever to do with music. Saint Cecilia is a lovely saint, she was willing to die for her newly found faith, a virgin and a martyr. Indeed, there are lots of things to be admired about her. We will talk about St. Cecilia later but not today. Let’s focus on the musicians. If you are a musician or still struggling to be one, or perhaps you know someone who is, here are Patron Saints for them. Seek their help!
Blessed Hildegard of Bingen also known as Saint Hildegard
Saint Hildegard of Bingen was a German Benedictine abbess, an artist, a talented poet, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, theologian, preacher and many more.
Most importantly, unlike saint Cecilia who never penned down a single note, Saint Hildegard of Bingen was a prolific writer and composer. In fact, she is the first composer whose biography is known. Hildegard wrote over 70 pieces that have survived and a whole liturgical drama that is sung. At the convent, she and her nuns performed her works. She acknowledged that she is not so bright all the time and later revealed that her works came from heavenly visions. Popes and kings shared in her songs and writings. She was not officially canonized until May 10, 2012, when Pope Benedict eliminated all lingering uncertainty by announcing that St. Hildegard should be inscribed in the catalog of Saints. Her feast day is celebrated on September 17.
Saint Dunstan of Canterbury
St. Dunstan is an English Saint and he is associated with music too. He was successively Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury. He was canonized as a Saint. St. Dunstan was skilled in making pictures and forming letters. Even as a child, he was noted for his devotion to learning and for his mastery of many kinds of artistic craftsmanship including music. His work restored monastic life in England and formed the English Church. His Feast day is May 19.
Saint Nicetas of Remesiana
Living in the fourth century, Nicetas was a composer of many Latin hymns for use during the liturgy. Some scholars believed that he was the original composer of the traditional Te Deum hymn. Feast day: June 22.
St. Romanus the Melodist
Romanus was a native of Syria and was of Jewish descendants. He later became a Priest. lived during the sixth century. He is the composer of many hymns still used in Byzantine liturgies. In fact, he is sometimes called the “Hymnographer”. Although he was not a natural musician, he received this gift as a divine grace through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His feast day is October 1.