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St. Philomena: A Saint For Our Times - by Dr. Mark Miravalle

Item Number: 77353

Catalog Code: LH13-7-dig

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Philomena: A Saint For Our Times

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Though St. Philomena lived approximately 1700 years ago and was only discovered in the catacombs of Rome in the early 1800s, her faithful witness as a young virgin who was martyred for her purity and for her fidelity to Christ speaks powerfully to our culture, and especially to young people. Commonly referred to as a "wonder worker", she has the distinction of being the only saint canonized solely on the basis of the profound miracles attributed to her intercession. Learn more about St. Philomena and what a powerful advocate we have before the throne of Almighty God.

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St. Philomena

St. Philomena Feast Day:
Tridentine Calendar - 08/11

Patron Of: Barren Women, Orphans, Children, Sterility, Babies, Bodily Ills, Desperate Causes, Forgotten Causes, Lost Causes

Also known as
    Filomena; Filumena; Philumena; Philomene; Thaumaturga of the Nineteenth Century; Wonder Worker of the Nineteenth Century

    Little is known of her life, and the information was have was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 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 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.


    relics discovered on 24 May 1802; relics translated to Mugnano, Italy on 10 August 1805

    by Pope Gregory XVI

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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