ST. PHILOMENA Patron Saint of Virgins and the Youth

In 1802, the remains of a young woman were found in the catacombs 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.

To shed some light regarding her life, we must look at her private revelations to her devotees. It was said that her parents were pagans who worshipped false gods. But after they were converted through the help of a doctor from Rome, Publius, who was a Catholic and now a Saint, they were blessed with a daughter who they named Lumena, or "Light" and was later baptized as Philomena meaning "Friend or Lover of the Light."

Her parents lavished every affection on her and she accompanied them to Rome in her 13th year, to plead for peace from war with the Emperor. The Emperor agreed to terms of peace but only if Philomena would be his wife. Her parents agreed but Philomena rejected the offer as she had already made a vow of chastity to Jesus Christ. The Emperor could not accept her decision and had her chained to a dungeon. On her 37th day in prison, the Blessed Mother appeared to her telling Philomena that she would be in the dungeon for three more days and she would leave on the 40th day of her sorrow only to undergo a most cruel torture for the love of Jesus Christ, her Son. Our Lady inspired her with courage and assured her that she is beloved by them both. Our Lady promised the Saint that at the time of her martyrdom, the Archangel Gabriel himself will be by her side to protect her against weakness.

She was bound to a pillar, and like Christ before her, was savagely scourged. The Emperor had her brought back to the prison to die. Two bright Angels appeared and poured Heavenly balm on her wounds and she was cured. The Emperor was astonished. Because she still refused his blandishments, he was enraged and gave orders than an iron anchor should be attached to her neck and that she be thrown into the Tiber to drown. But Christ, sent two more Angels to cut the cord of the anchor which fell to the bottom of the river and became embedded in the mud. Then the Angels brought her back to the bank without a single drop of water touching her garments. Several bystanders were converted. But the Diocletian became more obstinate than ever and declared her a witch and ordered her pierced with arrows. Again Heaven saved her from death. On hearing of this new miracle, the Emperor was so infuriated that he ordered the torture to be repeated until death came, but the arrows refused to leave the bow. So he had the arrows heated with flames from a furnace but to no avail for these last archers were slain by Heaven. More conversions occurred and the people began to show serious signs of disaffection towards the Emperor and even reverence for the Holy Faith. She was beheaded at last and ascended to glory in Heaven. It was 3 PM in the afternoon, of a Friday.


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 mention 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.

Litany to Saint Philomena

Composed by Saint John Vianney (For private recital only)
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, 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 the cradle, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, model of Virgins, 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.
Saint Philomena, scourged like thy Divine Spouse, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, consoled by the Mother of God when in chains, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, cured miraculously in prison,pray for us.
Saint Philomena, comforted by Angels in thy torments, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendors of a throne, pray for us. Saint Philomena, who converted the witnesses of thy Martyrdom, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who wore out the fury of thy executioners, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, protectress of the innocent, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, patron 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 glorified 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, Great 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 Thine eyes by reason of her eminent purity and the practice of all the virtues, pardon us our sins and grant us all the graces we need [name any special grace you may require]. Amen.


This devotion, owed to the Holy Curè of Ars, consists in reciting a Creed, three Our Father (the white beads) in honor of the Blessed Trinity, and thirteen Hail Mary with the invocation: Saint Philomena, pray for us. The thirteen Hail Marys remind us of the age of our Little Saint.

Feast Day: August 11



Anonymous,  July 19, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

Naomi will give witness that in 1952,St. Philomena interceeded for her,diagnosed with terminal cancer,on retreat by special permission,a miraculous event happened,at 3:00am.That involves a knocking on the door,a statue of st.philomena,and a luminous cross.She is alive and well today,in retirement,near the church of St.Philomena.

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