Say it like this: sess-SEEL-yah. It’s based on the Roman surname Caecilius, which came from “caecus,” the Latin word for "blind." During the Middle Ages, Christian parents started naming their daughters Cecilia to honor St. Cecilia, a second-century martyr who was beheaded for not giving up her beliefs and worshipping the Roman gods. She became the patron saint of music and musicians because legend has it that she was singing as she lay dying. So it’s fitting that the most famous woman with the name, Cecilia Bartoli, is a much-celebrated Italian opera singer.
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