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Saint Philomena

Feastday August 11

Patron of Babies, Infants and Youth


The intercession of St. Philomena has been invoked in every sort of need,
such that she has become another patron of "hopeless" cases,
together with St. Jude and St. Rita.
She has been known to be especially powerful in cases
involving the conversion of sinners and return to the Church.
She is often invoked by expectant mothers, destitute mothers,
and in cases of problems with children, help for the sick
and for the aid of the Missions.
But no matter has been too trivial or too unimportant to concern her.


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.

Our beautiful Saint Philomena went forth from her mother's arms to die for Christ;
the lictors ax cropped the budding lily, and pious hands gathered it up
and laid her in the tomb.
This true heroine trampled all the vanity of the world under her feet
and chose to endure multiplied torments
rather than renounce her vow to Our Crucified Saviour.
What a model of constancy and of every virtue!
Let the youthful take heart and go to her when tried.
Let us all with unbounded confidence implore her intercession!


Although little is known of her life, 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.


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.




Prayer to Saint Philomena

O most pure Virgin, glorious Martyr, Saint Philomena, whom God in His eternal power
has revealed to the world in these unhappy days in order to revive the faith,
sustain the hope and enkindle the charity of Christian souls,
behold me prostrate at thy feet.
Deign, O Virgin, full of goodness and kindness, to receive my humble prayers
and to obtain for me that purity for which thou didst sacrifice
the most alluring pleasures of the world,
that strength of soul which made thee resist the most terrible attacks
and that ardent love for our Lord Jesus Christ,
which the most frightful torments could not extinguish in thee.
So, that wearing thy holy cord and imitating thee in this life,
I may one day be crowned with thee in heaven. Amen.



Novena Prayer to Saint Philomena

O faithful virgin and glorious martyr, Saint 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 (make your request here).
I am thoroughly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn,
the sufferings, 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.




The pious practice of wearing the Cord of St. Philomena

was born spontaneously amongst 

the Saints’ devotees.

The Cord was first distributed by the saintly Cure of Ars
who was seen on numerous occasions being presented
with the Cord for his blessing.
The wearing of the cord was approved by the
Congregation of Rites on 15th September 1883.

The cord of St. Philomena is made with either cotton,
linen or wool and must be white and red in colour,
with two knots at one end in honour of
Her title of Virgin and Martyr.

The Cord should be worn under the clothes
like a belt, although there are small Cords
which can be worn around the wrist,
and the following prayer should be said every day:

“O St. Philomena, Virgin and Martyr,
pray for us so that through your powerful intercession
we may obtain that purity of spirits and heart
that leads to the perfect love of God”.








Join The Universal Living Rosary Association

The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
and the honor of St. Philomena our patroness and protectress,
through the Universal Living Rosary Association

This is a "perpetual" rosary. That is, you accept to pray your daily mystery faithfully for

the remainder of your life. These obligations do not bind under pain of sin, but your effort

and desire to remain faithful are necessary. Your decade may be offered at any time of the

day or night.

A regular quarterly newsletter, "Dedicated Decades," is posted to every member.


The Living Rosary Association began its revival on December 8, 1986, with 30 local

members. Blessed 1000-fold by Our Lady and under the powerful patronage of St.

Philomena, the membership is now at 1,000,000 and has been planted in every Continent

of the world. Over 3/4 of the membership lies in foreign and Third World countries. Each

member is asked to voluntarily give a small monthly donation. We have no other financial

support than yours. The funds received are then placed right back into the work to spread

the devotion, mail sacramentals to the missions and maintain the Center. If you cannot

donate financially, then we ask you to pray fervently that our material needs are met.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the Living Rosary,

please send them your name and full address to the

>...Universal Living Rosary Association ...<

enrollment center nearest you.

They will build a list of 15 names.

When the Rosary is complete, the decade you have been assigned and the day to begin will be mailed to you.



"The aim of the Living Rosary is to ask God, through the intercession of Our Lady of the

Rosary, for the conservation of the Faith in Catholic countries, the conversion of sinners,

the strengthening of the just, and the exaltation of the Holy Church.


The people who join together for this pious exercise, divide among themselves the

recitation of the prayers of the entire Rosary, and divide into groups of 15, in honor of the

15 principal mysteries of our redemption. Their intention is to form, by the union of their

hearts, as so many living rosaries which unceasingly recall to the Celestial Father the sign

of salvation manifested to St. Dominic by the Mother of Mercies.

After Our Lady of the Rosary, the Association recognizes and honors as its mediatrix

before God, the illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, named by the Sovereign

Pontiff, protectress of the Living Rosary."

 - Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot