St. Cecilia (fifth century) is honored as one of the patronesses of the Dominican Order, for it was on her feast day in 1206 that Dominic gathered the religious community in the village of Prouille, France, for the first time at the chapel. During his apostolic journeys, Dominic often visited this chapel to celebrate Mass. Prouille, located between Fanjeaux and Montreal, was surrounded on all sides by those hostile to the faith; yet Dominic chose this site for his foundation after seeing a flame descending from heaven there. Widely regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians, Cecilia is depicted holding a portative organ, surrounded by six angels playing musical musical instruments-cymbals, viola, lute, trumpet, and harps. The rose window, based on the circle as a symbol of eternity, originated in the Gothic period and is one of the most majestic liturgical art forms.
Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.
St. Dominic’s Church, Washington, D.C.