Later, a vile pagan named Almachius arrests Cecilia. At the trial, the judge questions Cecilia; although she answers cleverly, she is condemned to death. She is first placed in scalding hot water but survives; next, the executioner tries three times to cut off Cecilia's head but fails. She lives for three more days, during which she sings and converts non-believers. Following her eventual death, Pope Urban decrees her to be Saint Cecilia. Because nuns in Chaucer's time were compelled to read stories of the saints, the tale of Cecilia is an apt selection for the Second Nun simply because she is a nun and is extremely modest and shy. Her invocation to Mary is typical for all stories, but more so here because the story of St. Cecilia is a story of chastity.
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Cecilia, Saint Cecilia, judge questions Cecilia