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St. Philomena

bullet Patroness of the Children of Mary
bulletPatroness of the Living Rosary

1802
Little is known of her life, and the information available was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at the age of  13 in the early days of the Church.

In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria. It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a martyr named Saint Philomena. The bones were exhumed, cataloged, and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person.

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 Saint 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 translate the relics to Mugnano. Miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer, healing of wounds, and the Miracle of Mugnano in which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured of a severe heart ailment overnight. 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, he named her patroness of the Children of Mary. Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, and raised it to an Archconfraternity. Pope Pius X raised the Archconfraternity to a Universal Archconfraternity, and named Saint John Vianney its patron. Saint John Vianney himself called Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, and had a strong and well-known devotion to her. Others with known devotion to her include Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Saint Euphrasia Pelletier, Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Saint Madeline Sophie Barat, Saint Peter Chanel, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Venerable Pauline Jaricot.

Additional Information:


In 1802, the bones of a female between the ages of 13 and 15 were discovered in the catacomb of St. Priscilia. An inscription near her tomb read "Peace be with thee, Philomena", along with drawings of 2 anchors, 3 arrows and a palm. Near her bones was discovered a small glass vial, containing the remains of blood. Because it was a popular custom of the early martyrs to leave symbols and signs such as these, it was easily determined that St. Philomena was a virgin and a martyr. Her popularity soon became widespread, with her most memorable devotees being St. John Vianney, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Peter Eymard, and St. Peter Chanel. After being miraculously cured, Ven. Pauline Jaricot insisted that Pope Gregory XVI begin an examination for the beatification of St. Philomena, who was to become known as the "wonder worker". After hundreds of other miraculous cures, she was beatified in 1837. St. Philomena, who the pope named as the Patroness of the Living Rosary and the Patroness of the Children of Mary, is the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, although pertinent revelations regarding her life have been recorded. Her relics are now preserved in Mugnano, Italy.

~Prayers, Novenas and Devotions~

The Chaplet Of Saint Philomena

The little Chaplet of St. Philomena consists of white beads, a token of virginity, red beads, the sign of martyrdom, and a St. Philomena medal. There are three white beads in honor of the Blessed Trinity, in whose honor the holy virgin laid down her life. The red beads are thirteen in number and signify the thirteen years St. Philomena lived on earth. This Chaplet is one of the simplest ways of praying to the Saint. When saying it, we may very properly ask, firstly for the grace of purity, in honor of the virginity of the Saint, who sacrificed life and honor in defense of this angelic virtue. Secondly, we should do well to ask for the strength and courage ever to do our duty, a virtue for which she was so eminently distinguished and which she is so ready to obtain for all her devoted clients.
This great grace alone helps a Christian to arrive at the highest sanctity, in the most practical and easy way. (If you do not have a Chaplet, ordinary rosary beads will suffice.

First: Say the Apostle Creed to ask for the gift of faith.

Then three Our Fathers are said, in honor of the Three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity, in thanksgiving for the graces bestowed on Saint Philomena and for all the favors that have been obtained through her intercession.

The following prayer is then repeated thirteen times to commemorate her thirteen years:

Hail, O holy Saint Philomena, whom I acknowledge, after Mary, as my advocate with the Divine Spouse; intercede for me now and at the hour of my death.
Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The following prayer is said at the end of the Chaplet:

Hail, O illustrious Saint Philomena, who didst so courageously shed thy blood for Christ. I bless the Lord for all the graces He bestowed upon thee during thy life, and especially at thy death. I praise and glorify Him for the honor and power with which He has crowned thee, and I beg thee to obtain for me from God the graces I ask through thy intercession. Amen.

In praying the Chaplet or "Little Crown" as it is called, it is suggested that one ask for the grace of purity in honor of her virginity, who suffered death rather than tarnish this virtue; and secondly, for courage and fortitude to be faithful to the duties of a Christian as she was.

Novena Prayer To Saint Philomena


We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint Philomena, 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.

O God, Most Holy Trinity, we thank Thee for the graces Thou didst bestow upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon Thy handmaid Philomena, through whose intercession we implore Thy Mercy. Amen

Novena Prayer To Saint 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... (Here specify your petition). I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings 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.

The Cord Of Saint Philomena

This pious practice, born spontaneously amongst the Saint's devotees, was approved by the Congregation of Rites on September 15, 1833. Later, on April 4, 1884, Pope Leo XIII enriched it with precious indulgences. It consists in carrying, tied around the body, a cord of wool, linen or cotton, colored white and red to indicate the virginity and martyrdom of Saint Philomena. The devotion is very widely practiced, especially outside Italy, to obtain spiritual and corporal graces.

It has been made obligatory, to receive the abundant graces, for those who wear the cord to recite each day the following prayer.

Oh Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us so that through your powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of spirit and heart that leads to the perfect love of God. Amen.

The Oil Of Saint Philomena

This devotion began through the miracle of sight received by a child.

On the octave of the translation of the Reliquary of Saint Philomena to Mugnano, a woman from Avella, full of faith in God, dipped a finger into the oil of the lamp which burned in front of the altar of the Saint, and anointed the eyelids of her blind child with it. The child was immediately able to see, to the astonishment of all present

Chaplet In Honor Of Saint Philomena

This devotion, owed to the Holy Cure' of Ars, consists in reciting:

bulletThe Creed
bulletThree Our Father's, in honor of the Most Holy Trinity
bulletThirteen Hail Mary's, each followed by the invocation: Saint Philomena, Pray for us! The thirteen Hail Mary's remind us of the age of our Little Saint.

 

The Rosary in Honor of Saint Philomena

The rosary also known as chaplet or Little Crown of St. Philomena is made up of red beads to signify Her martyrdom and white beads a token of Her Virginity and Purity.

Has Saint Philomena Touched Your Life?
Has Saint Philomena Touched Your Life?his Rosary is one of the simplest ways of praying to the Saint. First the creed is recited on the Crucifix or medal of Saint Philomena to ask for the gift of Faith. Three Our Fathers on each of the white beads to thank the Blessed Trinity for the gifts given to the Holy Virgin, for in whose honour, laid down Her life. The red beads are thirteen in number and signify the 13 years our Martyr lived on earth and this prayer is recited on each bead:

Hail, O holy Saint Philomena, my dear patroness. As my advocate with thy Divine Spouse, intercede for me now and at the hour of my death.

Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

Has Saint Philomena Touched Your Life?
Has Saint Philomena Touched Your Life?his prayer may be substituted for 13 Hail Marys each followed by: Saint Philomena, pray for us.

Litany to Saint Philomena
Composed by Saint John Vianney

Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us
Christ have mercy on us, Christ graciously hear us
Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us

God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity one God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, filled with the most abundant graces from your very birth,
pray for us.

 

Saint Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, model of Virginity,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, temple of the most perfect humility,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the Glory of God,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, victim of the love of Jesus,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, example of strength and perseverance,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, invincible champion of chastity,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, mirror of the most heroic virtues,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments,
pray for us.

Litany to Saint Philomena (Continued)

Saint Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, consoled in chains, by the Mother of God,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, miraculously healed in prison,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, comforted by angels in your torments,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendours of a throne,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, who converted the witnesses of your martyrdom,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, who wore out the fury of your executioners,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, protectress of the innocent,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, patroness of youth,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, health of the sick and the weak,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, new light of the church militant,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, who stimulates the faith and courage of the faithful,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, whose name is glorious in Heaven and feared in Hell,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, made illustrious by the most striking miracles,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, all powerful with God,
pray for us.

Saint Philomena, who reigns in glory,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, Saint Philomena,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Let us pray

We implore Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever most pleasing to Thy eyes for her eminent purity and the practice of every virtue, pardon us our sins and grant us all the graces we need ( name any special grace you may require). Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Composed by Saint John Vianney

Novena Prayer To Saint Philomena

O faithful virgin and glorious martyr, St Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowful, 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 you (here specify your petition). 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

 

 

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Last Updated:  June 16, 2011

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