Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels


~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Feast of Saint Philomena ( August 11 )


Hail, O innocent Philomena, Virgin and Martyr , whom God glorifies by so many miracles , whom the Vicar of Jesus Christ has namned the Protectress of the Living Rosary and the Children of Mary , manifest more and more plainly from the heights of Heaven , that a voice holy as thine can not be denied and that we have the right to rely upon thy aid .
Obtain for us the grace to be faithful to Jesus Christ , even unto death . Amen

Credited with countless miracles and intercessions since discovery of her tomb in the most ancient catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome in 1802, St. Philomena is prayed to by people of diverse ages, culture and social standing around the world. The young virgin who was martyred at age 13, willingly traded her earthly life for heavenly salvation and continues her work today promoting the virtues of purity and sanctity among the world’s youth and bringing the faithful closer to our Blessed Mother and Jesus Christ. It would seem she was held in quiet reserve by God for nearly seventeen centuries and summoned at a time when so much uncertainty and absence of faith abound.

On May 25, 1802, excavators in the ancient Catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome came upon a well-preserved shelf tomb sealed with terr-cotta slabs in the manner usually reserved for nobility or great martyrs. The tomb was marked with three tiles, inscribed with the following confusing words: LUMENA / PAXTE / CUMFI. However, if one places the first tile last and separates the words properly, the very intelligible sentence emerges: Pax tecum, Filumena, which is "Peace be with you, Philomena." Also inscribed on the tiles were symbols: a lily, arrows, an anchor and a lance, which would appear to indicate virginity and martyrdom. Inside the coffin there were discovered the remains of a girl of about twelve or thirteen years of age, along with a vial or ampulla of her dried blood.
Transferred to the Treasury of the Rare Collections of Christian Antiquity in the Vatican, the remains were soon forgotten by the public, especially since no record existed of a virgin martyr named Philomena. But in 1805, a Neapolitan priest, Don Francesco di Lucia, traveling to Rome with his newly appointed bishop, requested and, after a brief delay, received the relics of this martyr "Philomena" to enshrine in his village church at Mugnano, near Naples.
Immediately upon the official donation of St. Philomena's sacred remains, signal favors began to be granted through her intercession and unusual events to occur. The favors, graces and even miracles started to increase, even before her enshrinement at Mugnano, and they steadily grew in number thereafter - such that this virgin martyr soon earned the title, "Philomena, Powerful with God". In 1837, only 35 years after her exhumation, Pope Gregory XVI elevated this "Wonder-Worker of the Nineteenth Century" to sainthood. In an act unprecedented in the history of Catholicism, she became the only person recognized by the Church as a Saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, since nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.
St. Philomena has been successfully invoked by her supplicants in every sort of needed, such that she has become another patron of "hopeless" and "impossible" cases, like St. Jude or St. Rita, but she is known to be especially powerful in cases involving conversion of sinners, return to the Sacraments, expectant mothers, destitute mothers, problems with children, unhappiness in the home, sterility, priests and their work, help for the sick, the missions, real estate, money problems, food for the poor and mental illness. But truly, as her devotees discovered, no case, of whatever matter, is too trivial or too unimportant to concern her.

Saint Philomena pray for us !
Blessed be Holy Name of God , who is wonderful in His Saints and Angels !

1 comment:

Richard Donley Fox said...

You can learn more about Saint Philomena at: www.philomena.org