|Saint Cecilia is one of the best known Roman martyrs. Here she is paired with the Greek martyr, Saint Barbara, while the other Roman virgin martyrs, Saint Agatha and Saint Agnes, are in the window opposite.
Saint Cecilia is the patroness of music. She is said to have composed “hymns which she sang herself with such ravishing sweetness that the angels descended from Heaven to listen to her.” (Jameson 195) She is also credited with inventing the organ because no other instrument “sufficed to bring forth that flood of harmony with which her soul was flooded, consecrating it to the service of God.” (Jameson 195)
Saint Cecilia, dressed in the clothing of a noblewoman, is seated at an organ, her hands hovering over the keyboard, while an attending angel at her feet pumps the bellows. Her head tilts up, as if listening to a heavenly song. A palm, the symbol of martyrdom, is found in her shield, which appears in the window’s predella.