14 JUNE 1969, Page 26

Paul's purge

Sir:The SPECTATOR reaches me a week late so I have only now read Sir Denis Brogan's `Table talk' of 23 May. I had not noticed that Saint Cecilia had just missed being demoted by the direct intervention of the Pope and I am rather shocked by Sir Den is Brogan's own light-hearted remarks about her—notably about her statue.

I visited the church in 1955 and was then told the statue was made in 1500, a replica of Cecilia's uncorrupted body found there during excavations. To me the statue ap peared just that: the touching dead bod' of a creature slender, young and resolute. martyred for her faith—the only saint who ever seemed to me wholly real—so much so that I must put in a word for her. I ha‘e been able to check my memory by Ink Rome diary and a picture of the statue. She was said to be a young patrician mar- tyred under Marcus Aurelius and the church was erected on the site of her home Nothing was said to give any grounds for the numerous pictures of a robust female playing the organ—were there per- haps two Cecilias?

Ancrum, Jedburgh . Alma J. M. Hawk,