Tuesday, May 25, 2010
St. Philomena, Powerful with God--May 25,1802--found her holy remains
St. Philomena is a lesser known saint in the Church. In fact, her feast day, August 11th, is not even on the liturgical calendar. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the power bestowed upon her, and it is no coincidence that her name is coming to the forefront of modern times in obtaining incredible results through her powerful intercession.
She spent 40 days suffering in her final 13 years of life in defense of her purity and her faith. Some of the sufferings inflicted upon her include a physical scourging, an attempted drowning, and an array of arrows launched upon her. Finally, she was decapitated, but she never wavered from the faith. She is the Patroness of the Children of Mary and of the Living Rosary. Our Lady has said, "To Philomena, nothing is refused."
Little is known of her life; the little information we have about her came from her private revelation to her devotees. Martyred at the age 14, she enjoyed fame 1800 years after her death.
On May 25, 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of St. Priscilla at the Via Salaria, Italy. It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a martyr named St. Philomena. The vial containing dry blood (as it was custom to bury a sample of the blood of the martyrs) and the bones were exhumed, catalogued, and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person. (The sample of her blood made her the intercessors of those with blood related problems).
In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy was in the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity (Treasury of Relics) in the Vatican. When he reached the relics of St. Philomena he was suddenly struck with a spiritual joy, and requested that he be allowed to enshrine them in a chapel in Mugnano. After some disagreements, settled by the cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to transfer the relics to Mugnano. Miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer and healing of wounds. Philomena became the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of miraculous intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.
Pope Leo XII granted permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor. Pope Gregory XVI authorized her public veneration, and named her patroness of the Living Rosary. The cure of Pope Pius IX, while archbishop of Imola, was attributed to Philomena; in 1849, the Pope named her patroness of the Children of Mary. Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of St. Philomena. Pope Pius X named St. John Vianney as the patron of this Confraternity because this saint had a strong and well-known devotion to her. Others with known devotion to her include St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Euphrasia Pelletier, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, St. John Nepomucene Neumann, St. Madeline Sophie Barat, St. Peter Chanel, St. Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Venerable Pauline Jaricot who received a healing of her sickness from her.
"To Philomena Nothing Is Refused"
One night, Mother Mary Louisa had a vision in which she saw Our Lady and St. Philomena. The latter confided her to the protection of the Mother of God saying: "Stand firm beneath the protection of Mary." Again, she saw Saint Philomena laying he crown before Mary's throne saying: "Lady of Heaven I am come to ask grace." Whereupon she solicited more than thirty graces for different persons. Our Lady replied: "To Philomena nothing is refused." St Gabriel wrote down the concessions with a golden pen. Then the saint turned to Mother Mary Louisa and asked: "Have you seen how this was done? I asked the graces from Mary, and through Mary they were granted to me."
These revelations have received the Imprimatur of the Holy Office, which means simply that the Church has pronounced them free from anything contrary to the Faith. It does not pronounce further. Everyone is left quite free to accept them at their worth or reject them. But surely the speedy and marvelous answers everywhere to prayers which have been offered in her honor, and by all classes of persons, seem to verify the words: To Philomena nothing is refused!
"My children, St. Philomena, has great power with God. Her virginity and generosity in embracing her heroic martyrdom has rendered her so agreeable to God that He will never refuse her anything that she asks for us." St. John Vianney (Cure of Ars)
"Philomena is a great Saint." Pope Leo XII
"Have full confidence in this great Saint, she will obtain for you all that you ask." Ven. Pauline Jaricot
"Our accursed enemy is this great Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena. Devotion to her is a new and terrible warfare to hell." (devils during exorcism)
St. Philomena also explained the wonderful power of her intercession when asked what was the difference between the essential glory of the saints and their accidental glory. "We realize", said Philomena, "that we are before God as so many vases of honor, some larger, some smaller. The vases of our souls dilate according to the desire to love God that we had when we were on earth. As soon as we are brought into the presence of God, each vase is filled to the brim with knowledge and love of Him. This plenitude is what is called essential glory, and this, through all eternity, cannot be enlarged or diminished. God Himself can put in the hearts of the faithful to pray to Him through His saints; and then graces descend from Him like limpid water, falling on our vases. But being already full, they cannot contain it, wherefore the water splashes from them and falls down on the earth and on you who are pilgrims. This glory is called accidental, and can increase or diminish. But in either case we lose nothing. Always we give glory
NOVENA PRAYER TO SAINT PHILOMENA
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint , virgin and martyr, who was always pleasing in Thy sight by her eminent chastity and by the profession of every virtue. Amen.
Illustrious virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena, behold me prostrate before the throne whereupon it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I entreat thee to intercede for me with God, from the heights of Heaven deign to cast a glance upon thy humble client! Spouse of Christ, sustain me in suffering, fortify me in temptation, protect me in the dangers surrounding me, obtain for me the graces necessary to me, and in particular
(Here specify your petition).
Above all, assist me at the hour of my death. Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us. Amen.