Virgin, Martyr and Wonder Worker
St. Philomena's Feast Day
Little, indeed, is known historically of Saint Philomena. Her real history commences when her blessed remains were found after having rested in the obscurity of the Catacombs of St. Priscilla for some seventeen hundred years. But God is wonderful in His saints, and Saint Philomena strikingly exemplifies this oft-repeated truth. After allowing her name and memory to be buried with her earthly remains for centuries, He suddenly brought the attention of mankind to this little maiden-martyr, and now works astounding prodigies in her name, as if wishing to show that He wills in this way to recompense the long time He allowed her to remain in obscurity. Saint Philomena's relics were unearthed at the beginning of the 19th century - on May 24, 1802. Cut on the tomb of the saint were the emblems of a lily and a palm, to indicate her virginity and her martyrdom. There were also an anchor, a scourge, and three arrows, two pointing in opposite directions, and one with a curved line upon it, signifying fire, and intended to symbolize the different torments which the martyr endured in testimony of her faith in and love of Jesus Christ. Saint Philomena was formally "raised to the Altar" by Pope Gregory XVI in an infallible statement made publicly in the name of Holy Mother the Church for the edification of all the faithful and for the glory of God in time and eternity. The Pope was himself a witness to the miraculous cure of Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Living Rosary, at Saint Philomena's shrine in Mugnano, Italy The story of St. Philomena's life is based on private revelations made by the saint in 1863 to three different persons, in answer to the prayers of many of Saint Philomena's clients to let them know who she was and how she met martyrdom. Those favored persons were a young artist of good morals and a pious life, a zealous priest, and a devout nun of Naples, the Ven. Mother Mary Louisa of Jesus. While the Holy See does not guarantee the authenticity of the purported revelations, the Holy Office gave its sanction to their dissemination on December 21, 1883.
Novena to St. Philomena
Say once a day for 9 days, especially beginning on August 3rd and ending on August 11th, the Feast of St. Philomena.
O faithful virgin and glorious martyr, St. Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowing, have pity on me. Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat thy charity , O great Saint! Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favorable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before thee.
(Mention your intentions here)
I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and death of Jesus, thy Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of thee, and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His Saints. Amen.