Cecilia

(St.). 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: Alexander's 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:

He [Timotheus] raised a mortal to the skies,
She [Cecilia] brought an angel down.

Dryden: Alexander's Feast.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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