E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A Roman lady who underwent martyrdom in the third century. She is the patron saint of the blind, being herself blind; she is also patroness of musicians, and inventor of the organ.
At length divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame.
Dryden: Alexanders Feast.
According to tradition, an angel fell in love with her for her musical skill, and used nightly to visit her. Her husband saw the heavenly visitant, who gave to both a crown of martyrdom which he brought from Paradise. Dryden and Pope have written odes in her honour, and both speak of her charming an angel by her musical powers: